Borna Barisic turned in a much-improved performance for Rangers in last weekend’s game against Hamilton though he couldn’t help his side to three points.
The Croatian started the season in fine form but his performances have been less impressive of late and over Christmas he drew some heavy criticism.
However, in Sunday’s draw against Hamilton, he showed a marked improvement on recent performances and his efforts were perhaps the only positive to take from the game.
The defender had a lot more defensive work to do than he probably anticipated as the Gers travelled to bottom of the table Accies.
But he did his job against the basement boys better than he has done against better sides in recent weeks, which is to be expected but it is cause for positivity all the same.
For example, according to Wyscout, Barisic won 68% of his defensive duels against Hamilton which is an improvement on his season average of winning 56.9% of total duels per 90 minutes.
This is a significant improvement and it is encouraging as he did more successful defensive work while under more pressure than usual.
It wasn’t just defensively where Barisic improved however.
In a similar fashion, the Croatian’s pass completion rate against Accies was 87% compared to his season average of 80.8%.
His crossing accuracy also improved with Barisic finding a teammate with 50% of his crosses on Sunday compared to his season average of just 37.7%.
These improvements all over the park should be encouraging for Rangers fans and for Steven Gerrard.
At the end of the day though, Barisic is a defender and his work at the back has come under scrutiny but these new improvements are encouraging.
According to Wyscout, Barisic won 100% of his aerial duels against Hamilton which is a massive improvement on his season average of winning 63.4% of aerial duels per 90 minutes.
As well as this, the 28-year-old made six interceptions on Sunday which is up on his season average of four interceptions per 90 minutes.
Overall, Barisic completed 79% of his actions successfully against Hamilton while on average only 69.8% of his actions have been successful this season.
This is the most encouraging of all the stats as this shows that his general game has improved drastically.
We hope this up-turn in form continues.
In other Rangers news, Gerrard will be furious with the SFA’s latest move.