Rangers rethink proposed loan move for John Fleck

Rangers midfielder John Fleck
Fleck has made only four appearances for Rangers this season

John Fleck's proposed loan move to Blackpool seems unlikely now that Kyle Lafferty and Nikica Jelavic have joined Steven Naismith on the injury list.

Blackpool were set to pip Sheffield United to the 20-year-old forward but Fleck's appearance in Rangers' 3-0 win on Monday may have changed things.

"We will have a rethink," Rangers boss Ally McCoist told the club's website.

"The way Flecky played would indicate that he will have more appearances in our first team than not."

With forward Naismith ruled out with a long-term knee injury, Rangers' attacking options were limited for Monday's 3-1 Scottish Premier League win at home to Motherwell.

Main striker Jelavic missed the game with a groin injury, so McCoist paired David Healy with his Northern Ireland team-mate Lafferty at kick-off.

But, with just eight minutes on the clock, Lafferty went down clutching his hamstring and the Rangers manager's early assessment was that the player could be missing for four or five weeks.

Fleck replaced the stricken Lafferty, giving him some much-needed first-team action.

Prior to the game against the Steelmen, Fleck had made only three appearances for Rangers this season and had not featured since November despite a recent slump in form that has resulted in them being overhauled by Celtic at the top of the league.

"We will have to reassess the whole situation in terms of a loan deal for Fleck," added McCoist, "with Lafferty out for a few weeks, Jelavic missing the game with a groin injury and obviously Naismith out long term."

While Fleck may now get his chance to show what he has to offer, his team-mate Kyle Hutton, who has just completed a loan spell at Partick Thistle in the Scottish First Division, may be another target for Sheffield United.

The Blades, third in League One, failed in a late summer bid for Fleck and fellow Scotland Under-21 midfielder Hutton, who instead headed for Firhill on a short-term deal.

Hutton, who broke into the first team at the latter end of Walter Smith's reign at Ibrox, has played 12 times for Thistle.

Now Rangers defender Darren Cole has joined Jackie McNamara's squad until the end of the season, while 20-year-old striker Kal Naismith could also join him, with the side now sitting fourth in Division One.

"Kyle Hutton was at Partick Thistle and I think it was a great move for Jackie McNamara and Kyle," said McCoist.

"It worked well, so that's something we might look at again for one or two of the younger boys."

Meanwhile, McCoist has not yet held talks with Matt McKay following reports that the winger is unhappy with his lack of match action since joining Rangers from Brisbane Roar in the summer and that he could be set for a return to his native Australia.

"Matt and I haven't chatted about that," said McCoist, "but you would hope your players who weren't playing would be a little bit disappointed in not getting a lot of game time.

"Matt and I have got a relationship and we will sit down and talk and see where it goes from there but, up until now, we haven't spoken about that.

"He's the same as everybody else. Everybody has to perform in training and in the practice games to get into the team and then they have to perform when they are in the team to stay there. It's the same for every individual at the club."