Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has told Borna Barisic to build on his first goal for the club after handing him the chance to make a fresh start at Ibrox.
The left-back only made 20 appearances in an injury-hit first season in Scotland and Gerrard appeared to grow frustrated with the Croatian’s fitness levels, especially after he was slow to return to Glasgow after picking up an injury while on international duty.
But, with Jon Flanagan sidelined by a hernia, Barisic seized his opportunity in Tuesday’s Europa League clash against St Joseph’s, converting a free-kick during a 4-0 victory in the first leg of the first qualifying round in Gibraltar.
Connor Goldson claimed the goal after tapping home the rebound when the home goalkeeper clawed the initial shot out, but footage showed the Croatian’s free-kick was well over the line.
And Gerrard hopes the goal will do the defender the world of good.
Gerrard, who is closing in on a deal to sign a defender, told Rangers TV: “There was a bit of a debate in the dressing room but we’ve had it confirmed it was definitely Borna’s goal.
“And he’s got that technique in his locker, I’m sure he can go on and get more goals from those positions.
“I’m pleased for him, he has started pre-season well. He seems to be in a real strong place mentally and physically, so hopefully he will build on that.”
- Press Association