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 has claimed that Steven Gerrard was smart to bench Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack in the 4-3 win against Royal Antwerp.

The Scottish international has recently returned from injury, and it was Scott Arfield who took his place in the side in Belgium.

McLeish claimed that the word “dropped” shouldn’t be used, claiming there are plenty of factors behind the rotation of the Bears squad.

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Speaking exclusively to Ibrox News, McLeish said, “I think we don’t need to use the word dropped, it’s more rotation.

“They will be looking at it very closely, who needs to be drip-fed, who needs the continuous game time? There are loads of factors, it’s more a very assured rotation of the squad.

“Arfield was very industrious again, it’s almost like a given now that he knows where to go on the pitch, he also has the cleverness to be in the right place to thwart the opposition coming forward.

“I will say that we did lose three goals last night and it could have been more.”

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It was great to see Arfield back starting games on Thursday.

The Canadian international was sidelined with Jack over Christmas, and both of their returns have been a massive boost to the Bears midfield.

There aren’t many better than Arfield at exploiting spaces between the defence and midfield of the opposition, but it was his work off the ball that caught the eye in Belgium.

Gerrard will have plenty of decisions to make in midfield now, and it is a great headache for the gaffer to have at Ibrox.

In other Rangers news, many Bears loving Twitter post on Old Firm rivalry off the pitch

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