Blackpool 1 Rangers 2: Bassey’s squad omission worries fans but Gers win comfortably as Barisic steps up game

IF Calvin Bassey is indeed set to leave Rangers, then Borna Barisic seems determined to make sure they don’t miss him too much.

The Croatian left-back – who thought he would play second fiddle to the Englishman next season – scored the first of two goals for the Light Blues in a routine win over Blackpool.

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Borna Barisic curls in his goal for Rangers1 credit

Bassey dominated the pre-game headlines as rumors of a move to Brighton or Ajax intensified when news broke he was nowhere in sight in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s squad for the pre-season clash at Bloomfield Road.

SunSport understands SEVEN clubs are considering making a bid for the 22-year-old, who emerged as one of Rangers’ best performers in the second half of last season.

Gers want a record bid before letting him go, with £19million appearing to be the low point.

Other than Bassey’s omission, there was no sign of another man who is no stranger to transfer rumours: Alfredo Morelos.

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The Colombian was left out due to his fitness, however, clearing the way for new signing Antonio Colak to get a few more minutes under his belt.

Latest arrival Malik Tillman was spotted in the stands after completing his loan spell from Bayern Munich yesterday.

The other debutants, Rabbi Matondo, Tom Lawrence and John Souttar all took their places on the bench.

Van Bronckhorst opted to give James Sands a rare outing in central defense alongside Connor Goldson, with James Tavernier and Barisic completing the defensive line.

It’s encouraging to see Ryan Jack start alongside Glen Kamara and John Lundstram, with Colak leading a leading trio that also included Scott Wright and Ryan Kent.

Rangers dominated the first half without creating too much open play.

Colak had the ball in the net after 30 minutes but was ruled out for offside.

There was little else to shout about in the first half and it was 0-0 up until six minutes after the restart when Barisic opened the scoring with a curling right-footed shot.

It gave the visitors a little more punch in the final third and Kent went close ten minutes later, seeing a shot from outside the area well saved.

With 25 minutes on the clock, Van Bronckhorst sounded the changes and brought Souttar, Lawrence and Matondo into the fray. Youngsters Leon King, Adam Devine and Charlie McCann were also replaced and there was a welcome return to action for Nikola Katic after a year on loan.

Veteran Steven Davis was also brought in and he made an immediate impact by linking the game in midfield.

Of the substitutes, Matondo was the first to come close by showing fans a glimpse of what to expect from him: pace, direct running and a desire to cut inside and shoot. His effort in the 74th minute was a few centimeters.

Two minutes later, McCann got on the scoresheet to make it 2-0.

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Blackpool pulled one back late through Beryly Lubala, but in truth Gers always looked in control here.

Their next pre-season outing is against West Ham on July 19.


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