RYAN Hardie believes his short loan at St Mirren has already provided him with more of an education in first-team football.

The 19-year-old is on a development loan which allows him to play for his parent club’s under 20 side and he netted the Gers only goal of the game as they were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Stenhousemuir.

He has been with Alex Rae’s team for just a month but thinks the physicality and challenge is already showing in his game.

The striker said:

“We said before the game that you need to get used to playing against these types of teams if you want to play at first-team level and ultimately that is your main goal.

“It was testing and a few of the boys got challenged more and pushed out of their comfort zones but we did really well in what we do and it is always a learning curve.

“Playing first-team football every week it gets you ready for games like this, in the same environment and playing in a more competitive league.

“It is a different environment for most of the boys in this team, in the starting XI there was a couple of under 17s and five under 18s.

“There is only really Jordan Thompson and me who are under 20s players, we fielded a young side and we need to learn from that.”

Hardie’s goal gave him three in three for both St Mirren and Rangers and while he is pleased with his tally it’s not his goal scoring he wants to work on.

He said:

“I think it’s a goal a start for me so far so it’s not been bad, I just need to keep doing that and keep working hard on other parts of my game which aren’t up to scratch yet.

“My link up play, heading and my all round play, everything needs to improve, you can never stop learning and practicing things every day.”

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