By George Overhill

18th Sep, 2022 | 6:10pm

Michael Stewart and Kenny Miller were full of praise for Rangers striker Antonio Colak for his match-winning performance against Dundee United on BBC Sportscene.

The Croatia international was restored to the starting XI for the visit of the Tangerines, having dropped to the bench for Alfredo Morelos in the Champions League midweek, and scored both in a 2-1 victory that took a small amount of pressure off his manager.

He ran onto a James Tavernier square ball in the eight-minute to power a low shot into the corner, before nipping in front of the visiting defence to flick a Borna Barisic ball into the net soon after the break for his ninth of the season, with the two pundits highly impressed by his start to life in Glasgow.

Speaking on BBC Sportscene on Saturday (17 September, 13mins) Miller said: “Colak, he finds himself in these positions a lot, round about the penalty spot. That’s where he’s got the majority of his goals and it’s a ruthless finish [for his first].

“That’s an excellent finish for Colak. When he gets these opportunities in his first 13 games he’s been pretty ruthless with them.”

Stewart added: “He wears the number nine and he plays like a typical number nine that you’d expect to find the space, sniff it out.

“You see his movement there [for the second], it was brilliant. First of all he pulls away and creates that space for him to able to go and attack, gets across the face of the defender and he knows where the goal is.

“He is very, very aware of how to find the space inside the box, even if it’s very packed and lots of bodies there, and certainly the start of his Rangers career couldn’t have gone much better.”

Leading

For all the talk about the deficiencies of the Gers transfer window, and there are a number of valid questions about where the money from European football and sales has been spent, this season would be looking a lot worse without the 29-year-old.

He has hit the ground running in a major way, and his goals have helped smooth over the episode that saw Morelos dropped from the squad before reconciling with Giovanni van Bronckhorst, and the Colombian’s lack of output so far as he returns from thigh surgery.

It was Colak goals home and away against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League qualifying round that took the club back to the top competition at long last, even if that is proving to be somewhat more traumatic than hoped.

And he came up big again here on a day where the side bottom of the table should really have been dispatched more easily but his teammates’ finishing was poor.

Ryan Kent and Scott Arfield made a mess of two excellent early chances and had more points been dropped it would have piled the pressure on the manager.

Celtic’s shock defeat at St. Mirren on Sunday (18 September) has proven how crucial the three points were as the gap is now down to two again.

Gers fans have the pick of their summer signings to thank, and if even Stewart can’t help but praise him he must be doing something right.

In other Rangers news, one of “the best central defenders in Europe” has made a big promise to the Ibrox manager.