WHILE the eventual scoreline and quality of goals scored thrilled Graeme Murty, the Academy coach was still left a little disappointed with some aspects of his side’s play in today’s 6-1 demolition of Partick Thistle.
The Light Blues trailed early-on and were being held 1-1 at half-time before rampaging to a crushing win in the second half, but despite that, coach Murty was still yearning for a little more from his men.
Speaking at full-time to RangersTV, Murty explained: “I’m delighted with the result and with the goals scored, but I’m not delighted with the way we approached the game at certain times or that we had to go a goal down for us to actually get started and show a little bit of a competitive spirit.
“But after a few choice words at half-time, I thought the guys reacted better in the second half and were better with the ball. They were better without the ball as well and showed a little bit about what they have been about all week.
“I was a little bit worried coming into the game as they have been fantastic in training and I have given them loads of plaudits and loads of praise and hoped they would take it into the game.
“They didn’t quite manage to do that, but I think you saw we have the capacity to score lots of goals.
“That is one of the challenges they have got. They have to get away from this bit where they are playing academy football where it is about dominating the ball and looking good where maybe we will win the game and maybe we won’t.
“They have to definitely win the game, and they are getting to that professional age now. We have to help them in their education and I think games like today will definitely go and do that.
“We have to try and create players who can go into any environment – Scottish Cup, SPFL, Europa League and hopefully the Champions League at some stage.
“Regardless of the opponent, they have to go and be the maximum they can be. I didn’t think we were that – not all the time in the first half – but we showed the capacity though we didn’t manage to sustain it.
“They have to get used to that – wherever you go, you have to perform at your maximum. When we do, they are awfully good and they have some good abilities and some great attributes.
“But it is not just right that we can turn it on when they want, they have to turn it on all the time.”
One of the most impressive aspects of Rangers’ play on the day was the attacking threat of Jordan Houston and Dapo Mebude on the right hand side, with Houston assisting two goals and Mebude netting two and creating one.
Murty continued: “Jordan has been at that level for a little while now and he was like that when he went away with Scotland.
“I had a few choice words with Dapo at half-time as in the final third I thought he was particularly destructive and hard to deal with, but I thought the rest of his game needed tidying up, and he did that in the second half.
“So fair play to him for reacting in the right way but I am not surprised at Jordan’s level as that is what we expect from him on a daily basis now and he has got to continue to push on as he is catching people’s eye.”
With the competition changing from an under-17 tournament to an under-20 one, it presents an opportunity for some players who maybe missed out on winning it previously a second chance.
Murty saw that desire in the dressing room, and added: “It was really interesting at half time as one of the players in there got in to his teammates in a good way saying he wanted to be in a final to go and retain that cup and the rest of the guys needed to, in no uncertain terms, get their levels and their attitude right because they weren’t going to stop him doing that.
“I thought that was fantastic as it means something to the guys and they want to go and win things. We need people with that winning mentality at the football club.”