Gerrard says Lafferty “won’t be available” for Rangers against Hamilton

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Steven Gerrard has confirmed Kyle Laffery “won’t be available at the weekend” when Rangers travel to face Hamilton Academical on Sunday, reports The Sun. After pulling out of international duty for Northern Ireland, Lafferty was given a five-day ban by the IFA which means he’ll be absent for their weekend outing in the Scottish Premiership.

Gerrard said: “We received a letter with the rules a few days ago and, as a club, we respect that and honour that. It means Kyle won’t be available at the weekend which is a shame. As a manager you want your best players available and Kyle would have been involved against Hamilton.

“He’s spoken to me and apologised. He’s in dialogue with Michael O’Neill about his international football but he’s made it clear he wants to carry on. “He loves playing for Northern Ireland. Hopefully once the weekend is done that matter will be closed.

Lafferty’s decision to pull out of the Northern Ireland squad led to him missing an important Nations League double header against Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina. NI lost both games and will hope to turn things around in the competition when they lock horns with Austria again. NI will face fierce rivals Republic of Ireland days before the November outing too.

Having re-joined Rangers from Burnley over the summer, Lafferty has gone on to score four goals in eight Premiership appearances this season. The 31-year-old, who has previously played for Palermo, Norwich City and Birmingham City, may have burned his bridges with Northern Ireland but he’s a key player for Rangers

Gerrard’s men are sixth in the table with 14 points from eight games ahead of Sunday’s clash with Hamilton. Rangers have won three of their last four games and are the second-highest goalscorers in the division (18).

Stats from Transfermarkt.

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