We’re delighted to welcome former Rangers manager Alex McLeish as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox…

Alex McLeish was blown away by the performance of Rangers defender Borna Barisic in the 4-3 win over Royal Antwerp on Thursday evening.

The Croatian international scored twice as he helped guide his side to an important first-leg victory on the road in Belgium.

McLeish wasn’t just impressed with his penalties though, with his delivery into the box something that continues to catch the eye in games.

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Speaking exclusively to Ibrox News, McLeish said, “He put some cracking balls across the face of the goal.

“There’s obviously a tactic with Barisic that when he gets to those positions, he’s going to be fizzing it in-between the defenders and the goalkeeper, that was really technically good.

“It was a good penalty, a great goal. It was dispatched really well, the two full-backs have been terrific.”

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Barisic was ultimately the difference on Thursday evening.

With James Tavernier off the pitch injured, the Gers needed someone to step up and take the responsibility of the penalty, not once, but twice.

The passion on show after firing the second into the top corner was great to see, with the Antwerp keeper not best pleased with Barisic.

We expect Tavernier to be missing for a handful of games, and it may be down to Barisic to keep that attacking influence from defence at a high level.

In other Rangers news, Alex McLeish lauds Bears rotation & return of Arfield v Antwerp

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