GRAEME MURTY is urging his Development side to show their leadership qualities as they travel to face Stranraer tonight in the second round of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup.
Rangers Colts will take on the League One side at Stair Park and although Murty admits he is expecting the young side to struggle at times, he hopes they can use their initiative to solve problems on the park.
He said: “I am expecting a test, I am expecting the boys to have a challenge and to struggle at times in the game but I am also expecting them to equip themselves really well and to bring intensity and pace to the game.
“We like to play the game at a certain tempo so I am looking for us to try and impose that upon our opponent but more than anything else I am looking for the players to solve any problems that Stranraer throw up.
“We can help them, that is what we are here for but the learning is really going to come from them sorting it out themselves so I am looking for leadership qualities from the young players and it doesn’t have to be the older of the young players, anyone can do it at any time and we have to give them permission to do that.”
Rangers booked their place in the second round of competition after beating Berwick 2-1 at Shielfield Park last Tuesday night.
Murty added: “I am expecting a significant step up, Stranraer beat Berwick earlier on in the season so we know they are going to be a step up but it is up to our players to handle that.
“We believe that technically we can handle any challenge, it’s the physical and competitive part that we need and it is a really good challenge for us.
“It is the reason we go into these competitions but we are confident that given the right attitude and the right mind set we can go and play our stuff.”
The Development head coach will have the same squad available for selection for tonight’s game and encouraged the young players to take their chance.
He said: “We will be very young but that is great for us. We will have minimal first team involvement but once again it allows our young players to step up and get a game.
“I was really interested in Cole McKinnon’s interview last week talking about getting a shirt and wanting to get more Reserve appearances and that is what it is about.
“Don’t ever be content with what you have got so far, so you are a Rangers development squad player that’s great but what’s next, how do you get to the next step and what is driving you to get to the next step.
“We have some very driven young players here but it is now about making that transition and that step and continuing to improve so that what we do on the pitch makes for good watching for our fans but better watching for our first team staff and if the guys can do that then I think we could have a good evening.
“I think against Berwick we showed that our top level is very very high but when they come off that slightly the drop off is a bit too much and we know also that we need to be better organised particularly off the ball and the lads know that.
“The review was quite honest but we know that our game model looks a certain way and they know what it looks like and what it feels like when we are playing well and it is their job to then assess during the game and find out where the problems are.
“If the game model doesn’t feel the way that we want it to how do we get it back, what do we do and what are the processes we have in place to go and get our game back looking as it should they know that and it is up to them now to go and sort that out in the chaos of the game a little bit faster than we did against Berwick.”
Murty believes the involvement in the knock-out competition benefits the players with the experience of playing under pressure.
He added: “It’s great that we have to go and operate as a first team, they have got very very good staff around them so we will travel as a first team would we will go and make sure we have a good lunch and a good pre-match, we will do our proper meeting before the game and it is good hopefully to get a crowd.
“The guys need to play in front of a crowd and they need to go and play games of consequence so if you win the game you get through if you don’t you are out, they need to know that and they need to understand the risk part of it.
“They need to play under pressure and that pressure only comes with the acknowledgement of failure. If they fail in their eyes they will be out so that is great because it puts that mindset to them and we have to see them when they are under pressure and then support them if they find it a challenge but it is no good always having things to sterile there needs to be an element of realism to it and this competition affords us that.”