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 insisted that Rangers are missing James Tavernier massively after the 1-1 draw against Celtic on Sunday afternoon.

The Bears skipper watched from the stands at Parkhead as Leon Balogun started at right-back, being replaced by Nathan Patterson in the second-half.

McLeish believes that this injury blow has forced more experienced players to reach another level of performance to keep the unbeaten run going.

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Speaking exclusively to Ibrox News, McLeish said, “You always miss a top player.

“There’s always a fragment missing, and we know how ambitious Tavernier is when going forward and young Patterson is trying to follow in his footsteps.

“At the moment, he’s not Tavernier. He has had a great season, this is when you have to adjust to losing the best players in your team. The other players have to step up to the plate.

“The older players have to take more leadership because James isn’t there, and all we are looking for is top performance level, that’s what you want to see from your team.”

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Any side would miss someone with as much influence as Tavernier.

The captain has scored 11 goals and added nine assists in the Scottish Premiership, with no other player having a better record in the entire division.

Both Patterson and Balogun have tried to fill the void, and despite glimmers of hope, there hasn’t been anyone who can live up to Tavernier.

This international break has come at the perfect time, and it will hand the Gers the opportunity to bring back Tavernier from his injury troubles.

In other Rangers news, Police Scotland release statement after Old Firm clash finishes 1-1

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