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 declared that Borna Barisic giving the penalty to Cedric Itten in the final seconds of the Rangers win against Antwerp was “brilliant” and showed the incredible team spirit in the Gers side at the moment. 

Rangers clinched their place in the Europa League Round of 16 in a crazy tie that ended 9-5 on aggregate.

Rangers have been rewarded with a tie against Slavia Prague, themselvesvictors over Leicester on Thursday night.

Talking after the game, Barisic – who had already scored three penalties in the win – said that Itten asked to take it and he gave it to him to build his confidence.

Itten made no mistake with a powerful spot-kick.

Talking exclusively to Ibrox News McLeish said, “It was brilliant. Great team spirit, great faith in your teammate that he’s going to score.

“It will help Itten’s confidence with him trying to cement his career at Rangers. He’s been a little bit in and out so far.

“Scoring any which way you can gives strikers a lot of confidence, and he came in and did his part last night. This will do him the world of good.

“You can see Itten getting a run between now and the end of the season, when the title’s won.

“Gerrard won’t throw him in willy nilly and there’s obviously loyalty to other players. You also want to keep the rhythm of your team going but he’ll get a chance to prove himself.

Rangers

Itten, who arrived for a fee of £2.7m last summer, has only had four starts in the Premiership and one in the Europa League proper.

He’s got six goals across all competitions and has Barisic to thank for a selfless act last night.

It’s just a good job he scored or it could really have backfired.

In other Rangers news, Celtic-mad pundit says Gers can win the Europa League.

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