DEVELOPMENT Head Coach Graeme Murty felt this afternoon’s game was a good lesson for his young players as they lost 5-1 to Huddersfield.
Murty said it was a rare heavy defeat for the players as they took on Huddersfield’s Elite Development Squad at Canalside.
He explained: “It is sobering for our young players. I thought with the ball we had some nice bits, we moved the ball around the pitch at times really well but when they turned it up physically we struggled to compete and some of our players found that really really hard and found it a real challenge which is why we take these games.
“I’ve said to them, how many times has that happened to you in your career and there’s not many replies to be fair so they need to understand actually we are not doing well in the game how do we maintain a structure and maintain a shape that is actually going to give us an opportunity to get something out of the game.
“I said to them at half-time that I didn’t think they had competed in the first-half, for 15 minutes they did really well but then Huddersfield turned it up physically and then they found it really hard and they found it really challenging.
“The game became too big and we gave them too many spaces and they exploited that so it is a good lesson for our young players in terms of structure behind our attack, making sure we guide our opponents away from dangerous areas.
“Ultimately at the highest level it comes down to you versus me, me against my direct opponent can I get the better of you and far too many of their players won that individual.
Murty said the challenge provided by Huddersfield proved different to what the squad are normally used to.
He added: “It is good understanding for some of the players of where they actually are in the grand scheme of football because sometimes we get a distorted view of Rangers because we are a good team, we play really well, we have good success in Scotland.
“You need to come to different places, places that don’t necessarily see us in the same light and get exposed to it and I thought Huddersfield showed us good respect in the way that they approached the game but they weren’t in awe of us in any way which is good.”
“We had to deal with some different athletes and different physiques which we don’t necessarily see every week, and it was a different challenge.
“It is not fatal for them, it is great learning experience for them but they need to understand football is hard, it is difficult and you need to have a whole raft of abilities in order to succeed.”
Next up for the majority of the squad is the UEFA Youth League second-leg tie on Wednesday night against Young Boys.
Murty added: “We will definitely see a reaction, we have seen a reaction in the debrief chat there.
“They will have it all the way through their career, they will have ups and downs, we don’t necessarily mind if they make a mistake on the pitch, we don’t necessarily mind if they lose a challenge it is about what they do next.
“This team historically and these players historically have always reacted really really well.
“We have got a really good opportunity on Wednesday against a good team and in a great competition to show just exactly what they are made of.”