Rangers boss Mark Warburton explains his decision to postpone Petrofac Cup tie with Livingston

Rangers FC - Ibrox

Warburton's decision suggests a lack of faith in his squad, despite his claims otherwise.

Rangers boss Mark Warburton has explained his decision to postpone their upcoming Petrofac Cup clash with Livingston, in an interview on Rangers TV.

The Gers were scheduled to meet the West Lothian club on October 9th but have pushed the game back until the 20th because of the loss of three squad members to international commitments.

“We’ve got players away on international duty, simple as that,” said Warburton.

“I keep saying it’s a tight lean squad and we’ve got players away. The likes of Gedion (Zelalem), Nathan (Oduwa) and Fraiser Aird are in our squad every week, so we’ve lost them and done the right thing.”

The former Brentford boss was pressed on whether his decision to push back the tie signalled a lack of confidence in his squad – a suggestion he strongly refuted.

He added: “It’s not about the squad being strong enough it’s about doing the right thing to make sure we’re best prepared for every game.

“To lose three regular squad members would mean we must be weaker, by nature, than we would otherwise be, so why wouldn’t you be best prepared for every game.”

Three players is the minimum number needed to be called up for a club to postpone a game, and Rangers’ decision to do so is an indication of the importance of loanees Gedion Zelalem and Nathan Oduwa.

Fraiser Aird has made just two substitute appearances this season, so is in no sense a vital member of the squad.

Zelalem and Oduwa, however, very much are, and despite his claims to the contrary, Warburton’s decision does suggest a lack of faith in his back-up options.

It sheds doubt on his belief in the likes of Kenny Miller, Nicky Law and Dean Shiels to come in and do a decent job and it’s a decision which will only have a negative effect on their confidence.

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