By Alex McLeish

20th Jul, 2021 | 9:30pm

Alex McLeish thrilled by Jermain Defoe comments on Rangers role

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 lavished praise on veteran striker Jermain Defoe after the 38-year-old said he was concentrating on his playing career over coaching duties.

The former England international signed a new one-year contract in June [Rangers club website] to extend his stay at Ibrox, and the deal saw him move into a player/coach role.

However, Defoe told Rangers TV [10/07/21] that his first focus is on playing for the Gers, before any coaching duties come to mind.

“So far it has been more as a player, focusing on pre-season and making sure I get a good pre-season and I am fit and ready to go,” he said.

“In terms of the coaching side of it, at some point I will get introduced, the manager has said, and maybe have the red kit on!”

Ex-Rangers manager McLeish says he is delighted to hear Defoe still has all eyes on playing as he gears up for his third full campaign at Ibrox.

Speaking exclusively to Ibrox News, McLeish said: “I think his determination is there for everybody to see.

“For him to still be putting his playing career first shows you that he is still really hungry and that can only be a good thing for Rangers.

“I’d like to be a fly in the wall there and see what tips he’s giving to these young Rangers players and experienced players.

“I’m sure he’ll be doing a lot of listening, he doesn’t seem the type of guy who will brag.”

In other Rangers news, this Light Blues attacker is in limbo after English bids complicated his expected 2021/22 Ibrox exit.