John Hartson questions Steven Gerrard dropping Rangers' Joe Worrall

Rangers' English manager Steven Gerrard shouts instructions to his players from the sideline during the UEFA Europa League group G football match between FC Spartak Moscow and Rangers FC...

Glasgow Rangers loanee Joe Worrall was left on the bench as the Ibrox side were beaten in their latest Europa League tie.

Rangers' English manager Steven Gerrard shouts instructions to his players from the sideline during the UEFA Europa League group G football match between FC Spartak Moscow and Rangers FC...

John Hartson told BT Sport's live post-match coverage of Rangers' Europa League tie with Spartak Moscow (broadcast on 08/11 from 22:00) that he cannot understand why Steven Gerrard decided to leave Joe Worrall out of the Gers' lineup for the game in Russia.

Worrall has been a mainstay in the side in recent weeks. Some fans have criticised some of his recent performances, but it would have still caught many by surprise when Gerrard left the Nottingham Forest loanee on the bench and handed Nikola Katic a rare start.

 

Unfortunately for the Gers, it was not a good night. Despite taking the lead three times in Moscow, a number of defensive errors helped the home side claim a 4-3 victory that leaves the Scottish Premiership outfit third in their group.

The gamble to drop Worrall and replace him with Katic did not pay off. The summer signing was certainly not the only defender who performed poorly, but it appears that Gerrard got the decision wrong. And Hartson expressed his surprise that the Rangers boss even made that call.

Rangers' Croatian defender Nikola Katic stands on the pitch in the smoke of flares during the UEFA Europa League group G football match between FC Spartak Moscow and Rangers FC in Moscow...

"Worrall's been outstanding for them," he told BT Sport. "We all questioned that [decision to pick Katic] because Worrall's been so good. In the home game, he was fantastic. He headed everything out the box. Maybe that power and strength is what they missed."

It is a result that certainly knocks the wind out of Rangers' sails. Despite their domestic form looking slightly more underwhelming in recent weeks - though they did win their most recent game - their Europa League performances have often seen the Gers produce something special.

But after seeing his side make so many errors, Gerrard is now facing an extremely tough task trying to make sure that Rangers go into the international break on a much more positive note.

Joe Worrall of Rangers takes a look around the pitch prior to the Betfred Scottish League Cup Semi Final between Aberdeen and Rangers at Hampden Park on October 28, 2018 in Glasgow,...

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