Steven Gerrard must start Nathan Patterson for Rangers against Livingston on Wednesday night with Leon Balogun set to miss the match. 

Gerrard explained on Tuesday that Balogun is a doubt for Wednesday’s clash after picking up a knock which leaves the Gers short of right-back options.

James Tavernier remains sidelined so the only option would be a Scottish Premiership recall for Patterson.

Patterson was one of the players caught up in the ‘Party 5’ scandal a few weeks ago and a lengthy ban from the SFA is expected in the near future.

He was handed a lifeline by Gerrard last week though as the young defender was given 45 minutes against Royal Antwerp.

Of course, he took his chance and scored a quick goal before turning in a solid defensive display and he must start against Livi.

A ban is coming but until it arrives Patterson is free to play in the league and while some may frown upon this decision, others feel as though he has earned a shot at redemption after his European heroics.

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The player needs a strong punishment and we’re sure that this will come but injuries have forced Gerrard’s hand when it comes to a club ban.

He desperately needs a capable right back and he has one available at the moment so he must resist the idea of shoehorning another defender into an unfamiliar position and give Patterson a chance to make amends.

It could be the last chance the youngster gets to play first-team football this season if the SFA slap him with a seven-game ban like they did with Jordan Jones and George Edmundson.

Of course, any potential SFA ban wouldn’t include Europa League games but Gerrard may want more senior players to cover as the competition progresses.

For us, it is a no brainer and Patterson must start against Livingston.

He can still be punished, and he should, but we need players and he is a good option.

In other Rangers news, Ian Durrant: Bears player to miss a lot of games with SFA charge

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