Alex McLeish says the Joey Barton saga is keeping Rangers boss Mark Warburton awake at night

Rangers' Joey Barton looks dejected

Barton is in limbo with the Gers after being suspended following a string of controversies.

Picture Supplied by Action Images

Alex McLeish believes the controversy surrounding Joey Barton is giving Rangers manager Mark Warburton sleepless nights, but is confident that the Gers boss will handle the situation perfectly in the coming weeks, according to Sky Sports.

Barton is currently suspended by the club, despite only joining from Burnley in the summer, following a heated training ground confrontation with teammate Andy Halliday.

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The 34-year-old is also currently under investigation after allegations surfaced that he took a bet on Rangers' Old Firm rivals Celtic to take a heavy loss in their recent Champions League encounter with Barcelona.

McLeish, who managed Rangers from 2001 to 2006, believes player controversy is part and parcel of the game, but he also sympathised with Warburton and how he will deal with the furore.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton

"It's part of Mark's education as a football coach," he said, as quoted by Sky Sports. "I don't know how Mark is handling it. I've not had the privilege of seeing how he works up close.

"But as a manager you always have sleepless nights. It wouldn't be natural if you didn't. It's a part which you don't foresee but you know at some stage you're going to have some problems to deal with. He's a smart man and I think we'll see the consequences of how he deals with it in the coming weeks.

Rangers' Joey Barton before the matchRangers' Joey Barton before the match

"Joey is being dealt with. We don't know much about what is going to happen so we can only speculate.

"I can't second guess what will happen. Is he going to leave Rangers or will it make him even more determined to become a pivotal figure for the club this season? We will need to wait and see."

Barton made just eight appearances for Rangers before his suspension, and the latest in a long list of controversies surrounding the former Burnley man is bound to stain the duration of his stay at Ibrox.

Joey Barton applauds fans as he is substituted

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