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 defended the SPFL officials after the controversy in Rangers 1-0 win over Livingston on Wednesday evening.

John Beaton and his team have been heavily criticised for cautioning Alfredo Morelos for simulation despite there being clear contact in the area.

McLeish has claimed that the Colombian’s reputation will have made no bearing on the decision, something the officials have to make in a split-second.

Rangers

Speaking exclusively to Ibrox News, McLeish said, “That can happen.

“If he’s cleaned up his own act, then sometimes you’ll see something that goes against him, and you’ll say it’s only because of his reputation.

“By and large, the referees are honest guys and if they see something in a split second then sometimes the camera would be able to do that for them.

“These guys have got to react at a split second, I wouldn’t like to see him get victimised because of the past if he has cleaned up his act.”

Rangers

It is hard to agree with the point that Morelos hasn’t been victimised on his so-called reputation in recent weeks.

We can agree with decisions such as his stamp against Hibernian, but this call from Beaton was simply ludicrous and can’t go unpunished.

The Bears have appealed the yellow card handed to El Bufalo, and we expect that to be overturned sooner rather than later.

In other Rangers news, Alex McLeish predicts a big future for Nathan Patterson at Ibrox

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