RANGERS new boy Leon Balogun almost had a knock-out debut in the 1-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie yesterday.

Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side got off to a flying start with Ryan Kent scoring the points-clincher in the 21st minute, as Scotzine reported.

Nigerian international centre-back Balogun, who joined after leaving Brighton at the end of his contract, saw stars – and he blamed opposite number Scott McKenna for helping him knock on wood.

The 32-year-old defender emerged from his visit to the north east a bit dazed following a collision with the woodwork in a goalmouth melee as Derek McInnes’ men fought back in an effort to snatch a leveller.

Balogun was left in a heap in the net as the visitors managed to scramble the ball to safety and the player was far from happy with his introduction to Scottish football.

When asked about the scuffle on the line for the loose ball, the player, speaking to the Sunday Mail, said: “Wow! I think it was McKenna who pushed me into the goalpost.

BACK OF THE NET…Gers defender Leon Balogun ends in a heap after a goalmouth scramble.

“I wanted to get up, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t quite lights out, but it was a little bit tough for me. I carried on playing after that and it wasn’t too bad, thankfully.
“Maybe I’ll get some dizziness and a headache later, but I have tablets for that, so it’s okay.

“Was I unhappy with the challenge from McKenna? Obviously, because it shouldn’t happen.

“But, then again, I didn’t die so it’s okay. It’s part of the game here, so I think about it like a message: ‘Welcome to Scottish football’.

“If that’s what it is then I just need to get used to it and make sure I don’t get caught out next time.”

Balgoun added: “I enjoyed the game a lot. I was looking forward to getting started here.

“The second-half was maybe not what we wanted, but it’s always great to start the season with a win.

“As a defender, it’s also good to get a clean sheet. We accomplished that. I was happy to start the game first of all. I did anticipate it after our training sessions, but it’s still a great compliment to get the shirt straight away.

“I said when I came I wanted to work and honour the jersey, so I was glad to get the opportunity.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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