Rangers left back Borna Barisic tonight revealed that he let Cedric Itten take the final penalty in the 5-2 thrashing of Royal Antwerp to boost the Swiss striker’s confidence.  

Barisic, who scored a last minute spot kick in the 4-3 win in Belgium last week, slotted home his side’s fourth goal of the evening from 12 yards out after Alfredo Morelos had been fouled.

But when substitute Scott Wright was brought down in the opposition area in injury-time he allowed his fellow replacement Itten to take responsibility - in order to give the forward’s self-belief a lift.

The 24-year-old hasn’t been a regular starter for the Premiership leaders during the 2020/21 campaign and had only netted five times before last night so the defender was happy to give him the chance to get on the scoresheet.

His team mate didn’t disappoint – he fired a powerful attempt down the win and beyond Ortwin De Wolf to round off an incredible 9-5 aggregate victory.  

“The gaffer said yesterday if I want to shoot I am going to shoot,” said Barisic. “I didn’t have a problem with it. I concentrate and I score and I am very, very happy.

“It (Itten taking the final penalty) wasn’t agreed. I was supposed to take it, but he asked me. I was thinking that strikers always need confidence and they get confidence when they score goals.

“We are playing football to win the game. It is not about my personal things. So I give it to him so he can get confidence. He deserves it. He trains a lot, he trains hard. I am very pleased for him because it is very good for our team to have players who can score. He was happy.

“I have said it a lot of times this season. I think our biggest thing is our character, not individual players. When we play like a team we are very strong. This situation just showed our character.

“It is a team sport so I always choose to win the game. I am happy for Cedric to take the penalty. We have one more player who has a lot of confidence now.”

Barisic was also delighted to see his fellow full-back Patterson, who came on for Leon Balogun at the start of the second-half, score his first ever goal for Rangers just 16 seconds after taking to the field.

The youngster was fined by police, disciplined by the brox club and forced to self-isolate for 10 days after breaking Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and attending an illegal gathering of 10 people in Glasgow earlier this month.

But Barisic said: “I am very happy for him. He has had a little bit of a problem in the last few weeks, but everybody needs to understand that this is a hard time. The players who had the problem are still young, they have to learn. I am very happy that he came on and scored the goal. He has trained very hard.”

The defender admitted he isn’t bothered about who Rangers are drawn to face in the Europa League last 16 in Monaco tomorrow.  

“It was perfect,” he said. "What can I say? We won the game and we go through to the last 16. So I am very happy about that.

“To be fair, I am not thinking about it (the draw) because I didn’t know if we were going to win or not. We will see tomorrow. I am excited.”