MARK Warburton has warned both Harry Forrester and Maciej Gostomski they will have to perform in training if they are to play any part in his matchday squad.
The Ibrox gaffer expressed his delight at getting both on board this week, while he also confirmed current backup goalkeeper Liam Kelly will depart on loan to gain some much-needed game time.
Warburton explained: “At a club of Rangers’ stature, you have to have competition for places, and people fighting for the jersey who can add a quality.
“In Maciej we have a very hungry goalkeeper with a great physical stature, and he has impressed Jim Stewart and the coaching staff here, so he comes in to add that competition, while Liam Kelly will go out on loan.
“Likewise Harry Forrester is a technically gifted player who has played at a high level. None of these players come in with the guarantee of a starting spot however.
“I was asked at the weekend if these players would be in the squad, but they have to earn it. The last squad we named won 6-0 away at Dumbarton – a win that was against a difficult opponent at a difficult venue.
“Any player coming in has to justify their selection, and that’s the way it should be.”
This week also saw the club’s under-20s depart for a two-week training camp in Valenica, a trip in which they will face La Liga opposition, and Warburton believes this type of event to be crucial to the club’s future success.
He continued: “It’s a great chance – firstly to get some warm weather – but to get some good training on some good surfaces.
“We’ve got to challenge our younger players, and a big part of the club going forward will be us offering a challenge to the younger players – the likes of Ryan Hardie, Jordan Thompson etc. – they must have a quality challenge to prepare them for the first team.
“It can’t be the first time they meet a Sergio Agero-type player is when they are in the first team. We need to make sure that as a club, at all age groups, they are being challenged at the highest level, and if we can do that, we will make good progress.
“We have to keep pushing. The club has had four or five years of difficult times, but we have bounced back from that and we need to ensure the foundations are put in place for Rangers to be regarded as a top European club, and that the Academy are producing players who can compete at that level.
“We want to be playing the likes of Barcelona, Ajax, Dortmund, PSG and Valencia – these are the types of teams we want to challenge our players against.
“Not week-in, week-out as it never works that way, but we need to try and put the investment aside to challenge our players in a number of different areas.”