UNDER-18’S coach David McCallum said there was mixed emotions after Rangers beat St Mirren 4-1 at The Hummel Training Centre last night.
The Young Gers were 3-0 up after a Ross McCausland double and a strike from Chris McKee, however St Mirren got a goal back with 20 minutes of the game remaining as they searched for a route back into the game.
McCallum said: “There’s a little bit of a mixed approach in terms of how we felt after it. There were a lot of good things first half, a lot of control but we probably didn’t create as many opportunities as we would’ve liked.
“We obviously got the goal again at a good time and it settles us down. We seem to be getting in quite a bit of a habit of that at the moment we are getting goals just before half time which allows us to settle down a little bit but we felt the first half probably the play we had from back to middle there was just not a lot of final third play that tested the goalkeeper.
“Second half I thought we started really well, really bright, got a couple of goals and then started to make some decisions that put us under pressure we obviously lose the goal on the 65/70 minutes.
“We then again start to make poor decisions giving the ball away in the middle part of the pitch and leaving us open to counter-attacks and at that point St Mirren could have had another opportunity to go and score as well so we put ourselves under needless pressure but overall we have got to be pleased with a decent part of the game.”
Rangers did get their fourth goal as Dire Mebude netted with three minutes to go.
McCallum added: “I get that they are only 15/16 years old but we are looking for the players to make better decisions.
“We don’t need to get the fourth goal we just need to make sure that we don’t continually leave ourselves open to counter attacks against us so that part where we are trying to force a through ball could we just make the safe pass for a period of the game just to get control again.
“We are trying to get that message to them without shouting on to the pitch so much. It is more about passing messages and it didn’t quite get there unfortunately.
The fourth goal allowed us to settle down again but as I say there was a spell in there that we left ourselves open and we need to learn from that and we need to work on that.”
The St Mirren win was the under-18’s sixth league victory in a row to continue their unbeaten start to the season.
McCallum continued: “You see from the goals we are scoring, I think that is about 22 goals we have scored in league games so far this season which shows we do carry a threat in the final third equally we have only lost two so we have been defending reasonably well but we have put ourselves under pressure tonight defensively that we didn’t need to do.
“You will see from the team that finished the game there were a lot of players playing out of position due to the fact some of the guys are going away to Denmark with the reserve squad so we have made changes tonight which has resulted in players playing in areas of the pitch they wouldn’t normally play but I don’t believe that that was a factor in us being so open in the latter part of the game.
“It is just down to poor decision making with the ball or a poor execution of a pass.”
The changes ahead of the Development squad’s Denmark trip meant a number of younger players got the chance to come into the 18’s squad.
“It’s great that’s what we want those guys to get the opportunities, there’s more of them in that 2004 squad that will be wanting that opportunity as well so we are pleased for them and we are pleased to get them so much game time tonight as well.
“They did well they don’t look as if they are a 2004 player playing up they look as if they could come into the squad and fit in well we just have to make sure we allow them to fit in easier with the way that we play.
“We were asking the boys in there why did we put ourselves in that position and they know it comes down to decision making and the young boys are open to that as well which is good that they see that. They get the pat on the back when they have done well but we ask them questions and we want them to do better.