For much of the week, Steven Gerrard might have imagined that his only concern with regards the furore about Kyle Lafferty’s late international withdrawal was ensuring that attitude did not transmit to the club scene.
Now, latest reports suggest that the striker’s conduct could see him miss out on Rangers’ forthcoming game with Hamilton after the Irish FA invoked a FIFA clause.
That creates a new issue for Gerrard; now Lafferty’s lax attitude is directly impacting his preparations in the same way the hitman’s conduct affected Michael O’Neill’s.
Bringing Lafferty back to Ibrox was always a risk; Gerrard clearly believed he had the character to galvanise a young, new squad, but there was always a chance it could go the other way.
Lafferty’s treatment of an international manager who has given him so much shows his lingering arrogance and immaturity.
Now, it is impacting Gerrard and Rangers. If his conduct sees him ruled out, Lafferty’s team-mates may begin to grow frustrated.
Far from inspiring the dressing room, he could cause unrest; as a senior player, he is supposed to be setting an example, not getting banned for silly, avoidable reasons.
Gerrard must hope it stops here.