Rangers manager Steven Gerrard lamented Ianis Hagi’s early injury in his side’s Scottish Premier League 3-0 win over Livingston – but said Scott Wright was more than capable of filling the Champions League void .
Hagi scored the first goal of the 2021-22 league season in the opening eight minutes, but would later be replaced by Wright after an injury.
Wright then added the second with a nice finish in the second half before Kemar Roofe capitalized on a dismal defense from Livi to strike a third.
Gerrard believes the former Aberdeen man has shone in his appearance as a replacement and is a ready-made replacement for Hagi, who could now miss out against Malmö on Tuesday night in the club’s first high-profile European qualifying game since a decade.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Gerrard said: “It never helps to lose a player this early, especially when you only have three substitutions. Last year you would probably get away with a little more because you have the extra couple of pennies.
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“He scored an important goal for us to get us started.
“And I hope the kick isn’t too bad, he’s in a bit of pain right now but I hope that shouldn’t hold him back for too long.
Asked if the Romanian will be out next week, Gerrard replied: “Potentially.
“But we have good physiotherapists and good doctors here, so hopefully we can get a rabbit out of the hat and get him ready for Tuesday, because he’s going to be important to us.”
Wright’s performance, however, meant that Hagi’s absence wasn’t too much to be missed and the 23-year-old made his way into his manager’s thoughts in the Champions League.
“Scott could have started today,” Gerrard added. “I think his performance in the pre-season has been exceptional.
“We do a lot of work on him in the final third to get some numbers in his game.
“But I thought he came in today and was a bright spark. Full of energy, he sees a pass and he’s always eager and looking to get in.
“He’s quick and was rewarded with another strong performance. He’s really in my thoughts for Tuesday night.”