A QUITE stunning Rangers performance saw them demolish Leicester City this afternoon in the penultimate match of their massively successful Games Programme.
Having suffered a painful 6-1 reverse to the Foxes at Ibrox back in September, Billy Kirkwood’s Development Squad travelled to the Midlands hoping to show how much they have progressed over the course of the season.
And they certainly did that, with the Light Blues turning in a wonderful showing against one of England’s best Academy sides.
It took Gers just 12 minutes to open the scoring, with Stephen Kelly on-target with a fine finish following some good set-up work from Glenn Middleton.
Middleton then turned goalscorer himself, capitalising on an error from the Leicester goalkeeper to hand his side a 2-0 advantage at the interval.
Zak Rudden grabbed a quick-fire double after the break, the second of which from the penalty spot, before Liam Burt got in on the act and then Rudden completed his hat-trick to end the rout with two minutes left to play.
Overjoyed coach Billy Kirkwood spoke to rangers.co.uk shortly after the final whistle, and after last week declaring their 2-1 defeat of FC Copenhagen as their best of the season, he believes this afternoon’s result trumps that.
He explained: “We got thumped 6-1 at Ibrox, so for the lads to reacts in such a way and come back after the period of time, is testament to the hard work they have done on a daily basis.
“To win 6-0, they were absolutely outstanding and by far, that is the best they have been all season.
“The first 10 or 15 minutes was a real, competitive game, but once they managed to get the first goal – a Stevie Kelly finish from a Glenn Middleton cut-back – it settled the nerves a little bit and we went on to put on a fantastic performance.
“We have always struggled against English teams, but today, we put all the good work they have been doing on the training pitch into practice.
“I have got to say too, Jordan Rossiter completed 90 minutes, is hopefully injury-free and he put in a fantastic performance.
“The way he goes about his business is second to none and our lads react to that in a real positive manner.”
Kirkwood pointed out the Leicester side was in no-way weakened from the one which won so comfortably at Ibrox earlier in the season – indeed believing the side Gers faced today was even STRONGER than the last time around.
He continued: “They strengthened their team from the under-19s that we played at Ibrox in the first half by introducing some of their under-23 team, and then in the second half, we played the under-19 team that beat us at Ibrox.
“So for our lads to go and put on that type of show and performance was absolutely outstanding. Every single player that was involved and every staff member is absolutely delighted with the outcome today.”
The Development Squad’s season rounds off next week as they host Everton at Auchenhowie, with Kirkwood hoping his side can finish with a flourish.
He added: “The last two games of this programme are testing for us. Like I said, we lost 6-1 to Leicester earlier and Everton beat us 3-0 down there as well.
“Hopefully the lads can take the confidence from this game today, take it into the Everton game and finish the season on a high.”