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 compared Steven Gerrard to Rangers legend Walter Smith for his success in the Europa League in recent years.

The Bears reached the Round-of-16 once again by beating Royal Antwerp and will entertain Slavia Praha for a place in the quarter-finals.

McLeish claimed that much of the success is down to the recruitment, meaning that the Ibrox board must take a big chunk of the credit.

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Speaking exclusively to Ibrox News, McLeish said, “It’s been a process over three years.

“As I’ve alluded before, there are similarities to Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, taking him time to get the recruitment correct and Stevie has obviously been supported in getting the right bodies in.

“The big thing is that he is thankful to the board for supporting him through the period and now they are on the verge of something great.”

“Walter and Stevie, you’ve got to take your hat off for what they’ve achieved.”

It is hard to make comparisons between Smith and Gerrard at this stage.

Gerrard is about to lift the Scottish Premiership title finally, and adding the Europa League to that could take him somewhat close to Smith’s achievements at Ibrox.

During his two spells in Glasgow, Smith brought home 10 league titles and 11 domestic cups, although that European crown always avoided him.

The closest he got was the final against Zenit St. Petersburg in 2008, and that will be one of Gerrard’s main goals before he leaves Ibrox.

We don’t believe Gerrard will be around long enough to match those 10 titles, so to get anywhere close to Smith’s legacy, he has to bring home the European crown.

In other Rangers news, Alex McLeish raves over the great response of Nathan Patterson 

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