Derek Johnstone admits that he believes Ryan Jack was “unlucky” after seeing his appeal over Sunday’s dismissal against Aberdeen thrown out – before suggesting that the midfielder would have faced pelters for pulling out of a 50/50 challenge against the Dons.
Rangers star Jack was dismissed after an hour of the 2-1 win over Derek McInnes’ side due to a challenge on Dons striker Stevie May which practically ended the forward’s afternoon.
The red card was Jack’s fourth of the season – with two being rescinded by the Scottish FA – but the SFA’s decision to reject his appeal means the 25-year-old must now serve a three-game suspension.
Johnstone admits Jack will be a “big loss” to the Light Blues but insists that the challenge was more of a “pass than a tackle.”
“There is no doubt he will be a big loss to the side and I know the decision by Willie Collum to send him off has split opinion amongst the Rangers fans,” Johnstone said, as quoted by the Evening Times.
“I think Ryan is a bit unlucky in some respects because he has gone in and won the ball, as he had to do.
“Can you imagine the stick he would have got if he had pulled out of that challenge?
“Stevie May pulled out of it a wee bit and it was more a pass than a tackle.
“Nowadays, though, referees are looking at the manner of the challenge and if they deem it to be aggressive then it is a red card.”
With a run of vital games in December and Graham Dorrans and Jordan Rossiter still missing through injury, Jack’s suspension couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Ibrox giants.
The Gers face Ross County at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon before travelling to Easter Road to face Neil Lennon’s Hibs in midweek.
The Light Blues are currently second in the Scottish Premiership – seven points behind leaders Celtic – after winning back-to-back games over Aberdeen last week and leapfrogging the Dons in the table.
In other Rangers news, Joe Dodoo is set to return to the club in January