Following a rather unspectacular start to the campaign for Glasgow Rangers which included a nervy win away at Livingston and an uninspired Champions League defeat to Union Saint-Gilloise, it appears Giovanni van Bronckhorst has settled things rather well.
Yesterday’s 4-0 victory over St Johnstone was the Ibrox side’s third win on the bounce and it allows the team to carry momentum into what is a crucial Champions League play-off tie against PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday evening.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst decided to make some changes to the team and freshen things up. Out went James Sands, Tom Lawrence, Scott Arfield and Ryan Kent, who were replaced by Ben Davies, Ryan Jack, Rabbi Matondo and Scott Wright.
Man of the moment Malik Tillman opened the scoring in the 32nd minute following a slow start at Ibrox.
Antonio Colak netted his third goal in as many matches, ensuring he is a more than able replacement for Alfredo Morelos, with the Colombian still working hard on his match fitness. Two goals in the final ten minutes from Arfield and Lawrence made sure the Ibrox faithful went home happy.
The Croatian is very much a player who thrives on confidence and despite the Dutchman signing Turkish left-back Ridvan Yilmaz, it’s clear that Barisic is still hungry for the starting spot.
His cross to set up Tillman’s crucial goal on Tuesday against USG is what the Ibrox crowd are used to seeing from Barisic, pushing up the pitch to constantly deliver teasing crosses into the box and he was excellent against St Johnstone.
The Croatian international earned a rating of 8.1 as per SofaScore, just behind Tavernier and Matondo as the club’s highest-rated player and he won 78% of his total duels during the encounter.
His proficiency at free kicks almost saw him score his first goal of the season, with a “great” effort sailing inches over the bar and this is another key strength in his all-around game.
The left-back also had 97 touches, made two key passes and his passing accuracy was an excellent 93% over the course of the match.
This is an opinion the Rangers Review also appeared to agree with, with the website affording the Croat a six in their own player ratings, as well as stating of the defender: “Linked up with Matondo well in patches and seemed to play with confidence, particularly after the break. Hit the top of the net with a dipping free-kick as Rangers chased a second.”
Ridvan may have been brought in as a potential long-term successor to Barisic, when the 29-year-old is in this form, it might be hard to displace him from the starting XI.