JOHN SOUTTAR didn't have the easiest of competitive debuts for Rangers.

The centre-back - signed on a free transfer from Hearts in the summer - was handed a start in the opening day 2-1 win over Livingston in the league.

But Souttar endured a tough time as he faced Joel Nouble in a physical battle at the Tony Macaroni.

And the striker ragdolled Souttar in the build-up to his opening goal, however Scott Arfield and James Tavernier strikes earned Rangers the win.

Despite his shaky start, Alex McLeish has backed Souttar to rally and show his quality as he hinted at his learning in the Scotland national team.

McLeish gave Souttar his debut for Scotland where he was sent off against Israel. And McLeish having worked up close to Souttar reckons the defender has the mentality needed to bounce back and perform at Ibrox.

He told Football Insider: “I was responsible for giving the player his debut for Scotland and he was sent off in a game against Israel for two bookings.

“He’s a young guy, he is still young. He still doesn’t have every answer to every question but he will know what is required at Rangers.

“That’s what happens at Rangers, one game and everyone writes you off. He’s a passer of the ball and a decent stalwart defender, he played well against Rangers in last year’s final.

“Defenders, when they make a mistake, it leads to something devastating, like a goal to the opposition.

“You don’t often get away with mistakes so he has to have the mentality to play for Rangers and I think he has that.”