Ball in Borna Barisic court over Boyd comments, insists Gerrard

Steven Gerrard has leapt to the defence of Rangers director of football Mark Allen – but insists it is up to defender Borna Barisic if he wants to prove Kris Boyd wrong.

Kilmarnock striker and former Rangers player Boyd hit out at the pair in his Scottish Sun column on Friday, in the wake of the Glasgow side’s William Hill Scottish Cup exit.

Gerrard’s first season in charge of the Light Blues is destined to finish without a trophy after his team were dumped out by Aberdeen, with Celtic eight points clear at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Gerrard has already admitted he expects to face question marks over his performance as manager.

But Boyd believes there are others who must also come under scrutiny, blaming Allen for a lack of balance in the Rangers squad and hitting out at Barisic’s apparent lack of desire in recent weeks.

On former Manchester City youth boss Allen, the Killie forward said: “Steven Gerrard will be the first to admit that he’s made mistakes, but he isn’t the man to blame.

“I’d be more inclined to look at the job being done by the club’s head of recruitment.

“Mark Allen is quick enough to jump around changing rooms when the team wins, but what has he actually contributed?

“He paints himself as the mastermind in everything that’s good when Rangers are winning, but he doesn’t fool me.”

And the former Scotland frontman also took aim at Rangers’ Croatian left-back, adding: “I also look at Borna Barisic and see a player who doesn’t want to be at Rangers.

“Every time I see him he just goes through the motions and I don’t get it. Whenever the going gets tough he seems to be injured.”

But Gerrard insists Allen has no reason to explain himself to Boyd.

“I don’t think Mark Allen will care too much about what Kris has said because first and foremost he’s identified him as the head of recruitment and that’s not his role,” he said.

“Mark Allen is the technical director of the football club and has done an incredible job since he’s walked through the door.

“Since he’s come in a lot of changes have been needed in the team, in the squad, in the staff, at Ibrox and at the training ground. He’s doing everything he can to improve things.

“If you look at where the club is now compared to the where it was when he walked in, he should be applauded for the job he’s done.

“So I don’t think Mark will be too worried about what other people think of him.”

However, Gerrard says he will leave it to Barisic to decide how the former Osijek full-back wants to respond to the criticism ahead of Saturday’s Ibrox showdown with Boyd’s Kilmarnock.

He said: “It’s up to Borna if he wants to comment on what Kris has said or show that with his performances that Kris is wrong with what he’s said. That’s up to Borna – it’s not up to me.”