Dundee United captain Mark Reynolds is backing Ryan Edwards to handle the Ibrox heat.
You could argue the last thing the Tangerines need ahead of a trip west to face Rangers is the enforced break-up of their central defensive partnership.
That, however, is their fate.
They will be without Mark Connolly, the man who has played alongside Reynolds at the back so far this season, because of a serious ankle injury that will sideline the Irishman for at least a month.
The Light Blues may sense weakness in that area, particularly with United having shipped four goals at Kilmarnock last time out.
However, Reynolds is confident Edwards, their summer signing from Blackpool, will be a perfect replacement for Connolly.
Edwards (26) actually played alongside the others in a back three in his debut – and one and only apearance thus far – against Hibs but lasted only 68 minutes before suffering a hamstring injury.
The giant Englishman is now fit, available and likely to start against Steven Gerrard’s men.
Reynolds is delighted about that, both for Edwards and the team as a whole.
“We have a good squad but I think we are going to missing someone like Mark when he drops out of the starting 11,” said the Tannadice skipper.
“We do have good boys to come in, though.
“The lads have spoken as a group about how it is not just the 11 players in the team that win you games or ensure a successful campaign.
“It is the full squad.
“We are lucky enough that Ryan Edwards is back in and fit after injury and he has been champing at the bit to get in the team.
“While it’s not ideal for Mark to be out it does give Ryan a chance to come in and prove his worth by putting in a performance against Rangers.
“We will miss Mark but we miss all our players when they drop out.
“We have, I suppose, lost a few to injury. Liam Smith is another one but Lewis Neilson has come in and has been a revelation.
“What you want is for others to come in and do as good a job if not better.”
While losing a key defender is a setback, there is terrific news on the striking front for United gaffer Micky Mellon.
Reynolds said: “We have also missed Lawrence Shankland but he is fit again.
“The hardest thing in football is scoring goals and it’s just about us getting used to playing at this level and realising that a half-chance is maybe as good as you are going to get.
“I think the bigger picture is that we are in a good place once we get Shanks, who has been training, back and scoring we will be in decent shape.”
The return of Shankland after a six-week absence is hugely significant.
He will feature at some point and could even start.
The Scotland star may well be the man who ends Rangers’ bid to make it a record seven straight clean sheets to start a Scottish top-flight season.
Mind you, Reynolds insisted the Tangerines won’t be thinking about that.
He said: “We don’t really concern ourselves with other teams and what they are doing.
“We need to know how they play but our focus is more on how we can influence the game and how we can cause them problems.
“So our focus and motivation is to go out and keep building as a team.
“We will just be going there to try and get a result for us.
“I think we can take confidence from all our performances – even Kilmarnock.
“I know it was a terrible result but we are still learning and working under a new manager, who has his own way of playing.
“We have, over the games, been pretty solid, although obviously the 4-0 says differently.
“If you saw the Killie game and the stats then it was a different story.
“Every day in training we are learning, taking pointers from each other and getting to know how the manager wants us to play.
“We feel as though, regardless of some of the results we have had this season, we are getting better overall as a group.
“There is a better understanding between the players and between the manager and the players.
“So we do go into this game confident that we are in a good place and can give a good account of ourselves at Ibrox.
“I think we are not far off it.
“At this level it is about being a half-second quicker and making the right decisions.
“That is the fine line between winning and losing.”