Taken-aback Ally McCoist admits he didn't see a return for Rangers trio of Covid sinners against Antwerp coming.
Bongani Zungu, Nathan Patterson and Calvin Bassey were all named on the bench for the last 32 second leg despite only just returning from self-isolation on Wednesday.
The trio, alongside youth team players Dapo Mebude, who is currently on loan at Queen of the South, and Brian Kinnear were caught attending a party in the early hours of Valentine's Day in breach of government Covid regulations.
Each filmed an emotional apology to their family and the fans on Rangers TV before Steven Gerrard released a statement saying these have been accepted by the club and "strong disciplinary sanctions" taken.
Former boss McCoist admitted he was shocked to see the three stars return to the fold so quickly but understands that Gerrard has to pick a squad he feels is best equipped to make the next round.
Speaking to BT Sport, he said: "Here's the dilemma, you're asking me 'is it right to put them back in?'
"Steven Gerrard is duty bound to look after the best interests of the football club.
"They have made a mistake. "Now the thing I can't understand with Jones and Edmundson, they got a ban. The Aberdeen players didn't get a ban. Somebody will have to sit me down and explain it all to me.
"The bottom line is, am I surprised they are back on the bench? Absolutely, 100 per cent I'm surprised that they are on the bench.
"But, at the same time, Steven Gerrard's first priority is to look after the football club and get them into the next round tonight so I understand it totally."