Nathan Patterson will be “kicking himself” after James Tavernier was ruled out by Rangers for an extended period, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Leeds and Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted Thursday night should have been the 19-year-old’s chance to prove himself as a first-team player – instead, he was sat in self-isolation after breaching lockdown rules.
Tavernier was forced off through injury after just 24 minutes of the 4-3 win against Royal Antwerp and Steven Gerrard revealed at his media conference on Friday he will “miss the next few games for sure”.
Patterson has been Gerrard’s second-choice right-back all season, having named the teenager on the bench 30 times across all competitions.
However, the academy graduate was named as one of five players who were caught attending a party in Glasgow last weekend and has subsequently been removed from the squad on a short-term basis.
With Tavernier rarely injured or rested by Gerrard, Whelan insists the young full-back had missed his chance to stake a claim in the side.
Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “He’ll be kicking himself. This was his opportunity. So it’s a double whammy for the lad – he’s sitting at home isolating.
“Whether he gets the opportunity again at Rangers remains to be seen.
“Look, when you do stupid mistakes, you go against government guidelines and feel that you’re above everybody else and you run the risk of disrespecting the club, which they did and disrespecting the manager and the players.
“You’ve got to lose a bit of trust here with the players, this is not something that they didn’t know, this is something they went out on purpose to do so when you look at it like that, you know, it becomes even worse in the bigger picture.”
Patterson has played six times for the first-team at Ibrox, while he is also a Scotland under-21 international.