By Doug Ward

30th Sep, 2021 | 7:50pm

Derek McInnes slams Leon Balogun in Rangers clash v Sparta Prague

Derek McInnes slammed Leon Balogun for his defensive performance as Rangers lost 1-0 to Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday night.

The 33-year-old made his ninth appearance of the season in the Czech Republic with Calvin Bassey alongside him at centre-back due to the ongoing injury crisis at Ibrox.

However, it was a night to forget for the experienced Nigerian, who was all over the shop at the back.

Speaking at half-time on BT Sport 3, ex-Gers midfielder McInnes singled out Balogun for criticism.

He said: “There have been a couple of times where they’ve been dragged across.

“Balogun seems to get sucked in and out of position. [He’s] too far detached at times from Bassey.

“Bassey comes across to this side of the pitch and you see Balogun there, he’s not moving the best.

“He looks a bit ponderous getting back in.”

Not good enough

Balogun was all over the place against Sparta Prague, especially in the period after the second half kicked off.

Yet again, Rangers’ defence was at sea in a European game this season just after half-time.

Is Steven Gerrard having issues in keeping his players switched on over the 15-minute break? Or are the players just genuinely being that bad?

Balogun is an experienced player who should be a lot better with his positioning.

He’s not pacey so he can’t afford to be bursting out of position and running to the right full-back spot to help out matters there.

There’s just no discipline in this defence right now and we do understand that Gerrard has injuries to Connor Goldson and Filip Helander.

But he chose to loan out Nikola Katic, he chose to sign Jack Simpson and he chose not to sign anyone else in that area.

It’s not good enough.

In other Rangers news, Chris Sutton aimed a sly dig at the Gers ahead of the game.