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McAllister gives update on Rangers players ahead of Celtic clash

The Rangers assistant manager did not confirm if any of the self-isolating players would return.

McAllister gives update on Rangers players ahead of Celtic clash SNS Group

Gary McAllister has said Rangers will have some players returning to the squad for the Old Firm clash on Sunday – but did not reveal if any of the self-isolating players would be available.

A Covid-19 outbreak at the club meant that a number of players, and manager Steven Gerrard, did not make the trip to play Alashkert in Europa League qualifying after some tested positive for the virus and others were identified as close contacts.

Allan McGregor, Jon McLaughlin, James Tavernier, Scott Wright, Calvin Bassey and Ryan Kent all missed the trip, though it is unclear who returned the positive tests and if all the others were missing due to being close contacts.

Recent changes to the guidance over self-isolation for those who have been double-vaccinated could mean that some players are available, though McAllister didn’t confirm details at his pre-match media conference on Friday.

“On the Covid issues we are guided by doctors and by the governing bodies,” he said. “We adapt day by day to see who is available and who is not. That’s all we can do.

“Come Sunday, we’ll be given a squad of people who are available and we deal with it.

“The same goes for everybody [ including the manager], we’re just guided by doctors and governing bodies.”

The coach did say that Rangers squad would be improved by the addition of some players not involved in the European match though, and that there were no fresh injury concerns for the first derby of the season.

“Everybody came through unscathed last night,” he said. “Scotty Arfield took a couple of blows on his toe, he took one early in the game and got it smashed on later in the game but after the game he’s reported fine.

“So everyone came through unscathed and obviously we’ve got people coming back from suspension.

“Non-squad players that didn’t travel will come into the reckoning as well so that’s Juninho Bacuna, Brandon Barker and Nikola Katic so we’re bolstered and we’ve got a wee bit more bodies in the squad.”