We’re are beginning to see the best out of Borna Barisic.
For a while it felt as if the Croatian full-back wasn’t quite cut out for the rigours of the Scottish game, but over the course of this season, he’s slowly set about transforming himself at Ibrox.
In particular, there were two games over the festive period that really seemed to showcase just how far he has come.
Firstly, there was the ill-tempered clash with Hibernian just before Christmas when Barisic was not only pole-axed by Ryan Porteous, but also pelted with objects from the crowd, including a glass bottle that narrowly missed him, as per the Guardian.
Instead of wilting as he once might have done, however, Barisic picked himself up, dusted himself down, and delivered an embattled performance for the Gers.
Then there was the Old Firm win over Celtic at Parkhead, in which the 27-year-old provided superb assists for both Ryan Kent and Nikola Katic, ensuring that the Bears went into the winter break just two points behind the Hoops with a game in hand.
And Connor Goldson has made it very clear that there has been a conscious effort made to maximise the Croatian’s effectiveness.
As quoted by the Athletic, he said: “We are starting to use Borna more efficiently now and we’re really seeing the best of him.
“We all know he’s an attacking full-back and the higher up the park we can get him the better it is. We are just trying to utilise him as best we can.
“He is now starting to produce that every week. We all knew he had the ability to do that. Listen, he is not Croatia’s national left-back for no reason. He has got a high amount of quality and he is starting to show that for us.”
And it’s no coincidence that Barisic’s best work is coming as he is getting pushed further up the field.
Speaking to The Athletic back in August, his former manager at NK Osijek, Zoran Zekic, said: “If Borna doesn’t have space or isn’t running on to the ball then he can’t play like he did in Osijek.
“Sometimes we also played against teams that put 10 players behind the ball but we tried to play quicker and switch the ball to the other side so we could get him free.
“It’s not a problem for him though, as he has the technique and understanding of the game.”
By beginning to adhere to those principles, Rangers are starting to get the best out the defender.