Nile Ranger: Swindon Town give striker time off to prepare for trial

Swindon Town have confirmed striker Nile Ranger has been given time off to prepare for his forthcoming trial.

Ranger is due to appear in court in January after being charged with rape, in connection with an alleged incident in Newcastle earlier this year.

The 22-year-old former Newcastle United forward denies the charge.

Ranger was permitted a period of leave by Swindon earlier this week to deal with "personal issues" but failed to report to training on Thursday.

The League One club have now confirmed they will meet with the player's representatives next week to reassess the situation.

Nile has been a hard-working and respectful member of the squad and has respected the club's policy and supporters

Swindon Town statement on Nile Ranger

In a statement, Swindon said: "Nile Ranger has been permitted time off to address his legal situation on matters publically disclosed prior to his joining the club.

"During the time Nile has been with Swindon Town, he has been a hard-working and respectful member of the squad and has respected the club's policy and supporters.

"He has given 100% every time he has stepped on to the pitch in the colours of Swindon Town.

"The club will be meeting Nile's representatives early next week to get an update on his legal situation and to review where we are in what is a difficult time for Nile and his family."

Ranger, who is based in London, has scored six goals in 16 appearances since joining Swindon in the summer, following his departure from Newcastle in March.

It is thought he missed a team meeting prior to Saturday's FA Cup defeat by Macclesfield, and was not in the squad for the 2-1 Johnstone's Paint Trophy win against Wycombe on Tuesday.

When asked about the player's whereabouts on Thursday, manager Mark Cooper told BBC Wiltshire: "I don't know. That's all I'm prepared to say.

"He was never going to play on Tuesday but he was supposed to be in for training today.

"But people should be concentrating on the players who played on Tuesday and that will play on Saturday."