McAvennie throws his weight behind Gerrard & Rangers after key Patterson news emerges

Rangers have done the right thing in appealing Nathan Patterson’s SFA ban even though they have bent the rules ahead of this weekend’s Old Firm clash.

That’s according to former Celtic hitman Frank McAvennie, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Rangers’ response to Patterson’s six-game ban.

The SFA have posted on their website that Rangers have appealed the decision to ban Patterson and four of his teammates for breaking coronavirus rules earlier this year.

With the appeal hearing set for the week following this weekend’s Old Firm, Patterson is now free to play in the Scottish Cup fifth-round clash.

McAvennie claims Rangers and Steven Gerrard have done the right thing by bending the rules and insisted that Celtic would do the same if they were in the same situation.

“They’ve played it right, Rangers have done the right thing,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

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“Celtic would’ve done it as well, it means that they can have Patterson available and they won’t have to risk [James] Tavernier. 

“The SFA should be doing things quicker anyway, it’s been a long time now. 

“Delaying it until after the Old Firm so Patterson can play in that game, it’s not right but Celtic would’ve done the same if it meant one of their players could play in a big game. 

“The boy’s not going to win, he’ll get suspended no matter which way you look at it. 

“Gerrard is playing the game and any good manager would’ve done the same. It’s wrong but if he can bend the rules to get his players on the pitch then you can’t really have a go at him.”

Gerrard needs Patterson as he is the only fully fit right back in the first team as Tavenier faces a race to be fit for this weekend’s game with both usual stand-ins Leon Balogun and Ryan Jack still sidelined.

This weekend’s Old Firm clash has been moved from Saturday to Sunday to avoid a clash with the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh.

In other news, Kieran Maguire hails Rangers fans’ big “statement of intent” amid £5.5m development.