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Sir Kenny Dalglish: Sometimes getting a wee fright at an early age isn’t a bad thing, but Rangers’ Nathan Patterson must now show remorse

© SNS GroupRangers boss Steven Gerrard with starlet Nathan Patterson in happier times                        but now there’s some distance between them.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard with starlet Nathan Patterson in happier times but now there’s some distance between them.

Steven Gerrard has been left bitterly disappointed by the actions of Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Bongani Zungu, Dapo Mebude and Brian Kinnear.

The five of them have no excuses.

They knew the rules, but they chose to break them. They weren’t forced into doing so. It’s all of their own making.

Patterson and Mebude are 19, and Kinnear a year older, while Bassey is 21 and Zungu 28.

For me, it doesn’t matter what age you are, you still know when something is wrong.

If they have gone to a party, then they deserve to be punished.

Had they gone to visit a grandparent, it would still have been wrong – but you could have half understood it.

But a party? Come on.

At a time when Rangers are flying high in the Premiership and doing well in Europe, it brought negativity to the front door at Ibrox.

Steven has been left to deal with a problem that was not of his making, but he will not shirk from it.

Rangers are now in discussions with the SFA and the Scottish Government, while all five players have been told to isolate away from the club.

They will be feeling terrible, I’m sure, and Patterson, in particular, will be really disappointed with himself.

He is very highly-rated, and was recently awarded a new contract.

He has been in the first-team picture for over a year now, and he is trusted to do a job on the park when called upon. That’s a huge compliment.

He most likely would have been given an opportunity on Thursday night during the Europa League win at Royal Antwerp.

James Tavernier had to go off injured midway through the first half, and Patterson would have been his natural replacement.

What an opportunity the boy has missed due to his poor decision-making off the park.

It will now be down to Steven what happens to the player in the longer term.

Sometimes getting a wee fright at an early age isn’t a bad thing.

As long as the lad shows remorse and learns from it, then he may well be able to bounce back from this setback.

He should have been on the park on Thursday night, and part of an incredible 90 minutes and another fine victory in Europe for Rangers.

Steven has now been in charge of 42 European games, and has won 23 of them with only five defeats.

His team keep producing, time and time again, and that is a record to be very proud of.

They were staring at a defeat a couple of times in Belgium, but Steven showed great tactical acumen and a real positive desire to win the game.

It was clear he was not going to settle for a 2-1 defeat, or even a 3-3 draw.

When it was required, he made positive substitutions, with Ryan Kent and Ryan Jack coming on.

The manager knew the game was there to be won, and didn’t want to leave Antwerp with any regrets.

Kent’s introduction was perfect. He scored the third goal after some good skill and an excellent finish, then he won the penalty kick which clinched victory.

Any win in Europe, especially away from home, is a good win.

So Steven can go into the second leg on Thursday with his reputation in Europe as a manager enhanced even further.

He displayed real football knowledge, and real positivity in Antwerp.

When his team had setbacks, whether it was conceding a goal or losing a key player to injury, he remained composed and called it right in the immediate aftermath.

There is still work to be done on Thursday night in the second leg at Ibrox, but I’d be very surprised if Rangers do not progress to the last 16.

They then just need to hope that the draw is kind to them.

That’s something they can’t control, but what is in their hands is winning the title.

Rangers still enjoy a comfortable lead over Celtic, but Neil Lennon’s men are in good form and have now gone on a five-game winning streak.

That will be a warning to everyone at Ibrox that they need to stay focused and not take anything for granted.