GRAEME MURTY believes his side learned a “really good lesson” as they defeated Hamilton to go to potentially within a win of the Reserve League title.
Gers are neck-and-neck with Celtic ahead of their final matches but hold a three-goal advantage on goal difference ahead of their last-day match at Falkirk.
The 4-1 win today over Accies means it’s very much within their hands to go and clinch the title, with Murty telling RangersTV: “I said to the guys before the game I thought it was going to be a game of contrast where we had to be quite aggressive physically and try and go and press and win the ball back, even though we were quite young.
“Then we had to be completely the opposite to that and be nice and relaxed and play our stuff. I thought when we got that contrast I thought we showed a bit of quality, and when we didn’t, we lacked that quality.
“It is a really good lesson for the players that you have to have controlled aggression to play this game, but when decision time comes, you have to have a really, really ice-cold head to make that decision to make that quality technique come through.
“When we did that, we scored some really good goals, so I am really pleased for them and it is a really good lesson for them to understand the difference between two states.”
Murty was able to call upon Andy Dallas and Jamie Barjonas today from their respective loans at Morton and Raith, while first-team players Ross McCrorie and Glenn Middleton also featured.
He continued: “They are good lads who work extremely hard with their loan team and understand how we want to play, and it was a good opportunity to get them in front of the first-team staff as well.
“So they have come in and played really good games for us and really contributed to a good win.
“We also had Glenn [Middleton] and Ross [McCrorie] which the first-team allowed us to use as well which we are grateful for, and they again, understand the way we play and complement our players really well.
“More than anything else, I thought four of those were really good teammates today to our younger players – we finished the game there with Cole McKinnon on the pitch, and he’s a really young pup
“It is good for his experience and good for his learning, and we had to make sure we managed the early part of the game in order for us to go and show our quality, and our first-team experience certainly allowed us to go and do that.”
Murty was also pleased with what he saw in terms of handling the pressure of a title race, adding: “I keep on going back to the ‘refocus’ we had a few weeks ago and making sure we understood what was at stake, and if you’re a Rangers player, you have to be involved in title races and you have to be involved in competitions to win cups, and you have to stay fresh, strong and committed right until the end of the season.
“I thought they showed that today. They showed quality as well and they showed understanding. They also showed, when it got a bit tough, they are prepared to roll their sleeves up as well which was one of the pleasing aspects of the game.”