RANGERS Academy coach David McCallum was delighted with the display from the Under-18’s side as they defeated Huddersfield Town 9-1 in a pre-season friendly.
A strong display from the young Gers saw them dominate the visitors for large spells of the match. Given how early it is into pre-season, McCallum said he couldn’t have asked for more from the side.
He said: “It is a great result, it is very pleasing and I think more than the result it is the performance. Throughout the first two-weeks of training the players have been presented with a lot of challenges in terms of understanding how we want them to play in and out of training and how they apply that and I think today was as close as we are going to get given that it is only the second week of pre-season.
“We thought early on when we saw Huddersfield and the way they started that it was going to be quite a challenge for us but I think probably the biggest complement to our players is how they dealt with the challenge.
“I think Huddersfield were probably a little bit physically stronger than us and early on you saw Alex Lowry getting a little bit of a clattering and he quite quickly learned that he had to move a lot quicker to ensure that his talents, which became very evident, could be used better.
“Once we settled into the game you could see the way we moved and the way we passed. One thing that probably isn’t noticed in a game like this when you score so many is the way we defended out of possession.
“Some of our defending was excellent from the front and obviously back in the final third.”
McCallum feels the 9-1 scoreline was credit to the performance put in by the Young Gers.
He added: “People will look at the scoreline and will think it was a fairly straight forward game but I think our players made it that way with the way they applied what we asked them to do.
“We asked them to play through Huddersfield quickly so that we could break their lines and get to their backlines as quick as we could and they did that and I think that put Huddersfield on the back-foot but two of our first three goals came from Alex Lowry defending.
“Alex can be a special talent on the ball but I think off the ball can be a challenge and I think today two goals coming from him being in the right position to win the ball back was excellent for us.
Nathan Young-Coombes scored the first two goals of the afternoon before having to be substituted after taking a knock.
McCallum added: “I think it is just a knock on his thigh so he should be fine. The part of the first half that he played in he was difficult to control for the Huddersfield defence.
“He scored two and he could’ve had the hat-trick but he passed on the responsibility of the penalty to Alex Lowry and he decided to do that which is good for him.”
McCallum is expecting some challenges for his side as they progress through pre-season and into the season.
“When you look at the game today, pre-season is going quite well so far but we know that there are a lot of challenges ahead and we want that.
“We want the players to be challenged because for them to go and develop at this club and move to the Reserves and the First-Team they need to be challenged and they need to go through some difficult spells and I’m sure that will be the case when we move through pre-season and into the season ahead.”