By George Overhill

11th Nov, 2022 | 1:46pm

Ryan Jack is finally available again for Rangers to face St Mirren Saturday in the final game before the World Cup break, Giovanni van Bronckhorst has confirmed.

The Scottish midfielder has been missing from the last eight games in all competitions with injury but will be back in the squad for the trip to the Saints.

However, Fashion Sakala and top goalscorer Antonio Colak will be unavailable with injury, with the Croatian’s week going from bad to worse after missing out on the World Cup squad.

The Gers badly need a win to get into the break without further damage to their bid to reel in Celtic at the top of the SPFL, and that has been boosted by Jack’s return.

It was confirmed via the club’s official Twitter account from the pre-match press conference on Friday (11 November): “GVB: Ryan Jack will be involved in the squad tomorrow, it should also be beneficial for him to get minutes with Scotland.”

The manager then later added that the two key attackers would be unavailable: “GVB: Fashion Jr is unavailable with a minor muscle injury. Colak has a minor injury and will miss tomorrow, he will be fine for us coming back from the break. Jack will be back in the squad.”

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Staggering to the break

The Light Blues made heavy going of the victory over Hearts in midweek but with the board clearly minded to stick with the manager for now it is points that count.

If the Dutchman is going to stay in place then he has to make the most of the unique opportunity to work with his players during the lengthy winter break.

Results haven’t been good lately and performances often even worse. In a normal season fixtures would keep coming thick and fast, with the potential for the league title to be out of sight by Christmas with more dropped points, but this year van Bronckhorst gets close to a second preseason to deal with the problems.

However, a slip up against St Mirren on Saturday and that could be the situation anyway, as it is already a big ask to expect Celtic to drop seven points.

That is especially true considering the manager’s league record in Old Firm derbies is very poor, so for this weekend nobody has to enjoy it, although everyone would prefer it if they could, but three points is an absolute must.

There are clearly shortcomings in the squad currently, but this team is performing way below its potential at the moment, so if the manager and his staff can find a way to get more out of talented players then there is still a way back this season.

In other Rangers news, a BBC Sport pundit says even Sir Alex Ferguson couldn’t overhaul Celtic if he was in charge at Ibrox right now.