Former Rangers manager Alex McLeish has admitted he was “really disappointed” with Joey Barton during his time at Ibrox – and joked the midfielder needed a “slap.”

Barton spent less than six months with the Gers but was incredibly disappointing during his brief spell at Ibrox before having his contract terminated.

The veteran midfielder has claimed he was too good for Scottish football but failed to deliver before being suspended after a row with manager Mark Warburton.

McLeish agreed with Ally McCoist, who said Barton needed a “cuddle” but admits the former Burnley midfielder fell well short in Scotland.

“I tell you Coisty, that was a fantastic response,” McLeish told Alan Brazil and McCoist on talkSPORT, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

“Listen, come on, Joey didn’t exactly do himself a favour with his performances in Scotland.

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“I was really disappointed with Joey.

“I love him as a player and I thought he was tremendous in his exploitations down in England, but he didn’t do what I thought he would do in Scotland.

“There was a cuddle required and a slap on the head as well, Coisty!”

After leaving the Gers, Barton quickly agreed to re-join Burnley but was suspended by the FA for 13 months for breaching rules on betting – months after being suspended by the Scottish FA for similar.

Football Insider verdict:

Despite Barton’s protestations, even the veteran midfielder must accept he was nowhere near good enough during his time at Ibrox. His ‘Scottish football is rubbish’ stuff is becoming ridiculously boring after watching Barton huff and puff his way around a handful of Scottish grounds. McLeish isn’t the only one who is really disappointed in Barton’s performances after the midfielder came to Scotland, earned a hefty wage and quickly bolted with his tail between his legs.

In other Rangers news, Ally McCoist has made a major claim over a Gers manager decision that could be made within two weeks.

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