Rangers FC beat NK Osijek 1-0 in the first leg of the third round qualifiers in Croatia and the only goal of the game was scored by striker Alfredo Morelos.
Morelos put in a fine shift during the game as he not only scored the all-important away goal but also helped out in defence – as and when needed.
But there was every possibility that the 22-year-old might now have started the game in the first place – hadn’t it been for Umar Sadiq’s absence.
After failing to impress the manager during the first two games of the season, everyone thought that Steven Gerrard would push Alfredo Morelos to the bench and start the game in Croatia with Umar Sadiq as his front man.
But when the AS Roma loanee did not travel with the squad a number of people started panicking. While some believed that the player might have picked up a late injury during training other felt that the Light Blues might have failed to register the player in time.
Now though Steven Gerrard has revealed the exact reason why Umar Sadiq did not travel with the Rangers squad to mainland Europa and the news is not at all good for the fans.
— Daily Record Sport (@Record_Sport) July 25, 2018
The Gers manager said: “Umar[Sadiq] hasn’t travelled with us. He still needs more time having assessed him in the time since he’s been here.
“I still think he’s lacking a bit of match sharpness so we thought the best idea was for him to carry on with the training and push himself physically over the next couple of days.
“It’s very difficult to do that when you are travelling. It’s better to do it at home. He’s a little bit behind the boys that have come.
“He could be involved at the weekend but to be available for selection I’d probably say a couple of weeks.”
Rangers play the second leg of the qualifiers next Thursday after which they kick off their Scottish season on the 5th of August by taking on Aberdeen away from home. And if Steven Gerrard’s statements hold true then the Gers will have Alfredo Morelos as their only recognized frontman for the next two games.
Read: ‘This’ former Premier League and Scottish Premiership star actually called Sir Alex Ferguson a ‘bas**rd’.