GRAEME MURTY has lauded his Rangers side’s ‘outstanding’ performance after they defeated Hamburg 5-0 away from home yesterday.
An under-19 Light Blues side thrashed the famous German outfit thanks to an Andy Dallas hat-trick and single strikes from Cammy Palmer and Serge Atakayi.
It was a simply stunning result for Murty’s men, and it’s one he and the rest of his staff are thrilled with, as well as being extremely proud of the players.
Speaking to rangers.co.uk, a delighted Murty explained: “It started with their intensity and their desire to go and press, and to stop our opponents getting on the ball and building their game was first-class, absolutely first-class, and from minute one to minute 95, the guys were outstanding in that regard.
“And from there, after stopping our opponents play, we then had to go and play and create our own game, and we did that very well and there were some outstanding performances. I think every single player did something in the game which made you sit up and take notice, but, overall, they were all at such a consistently high level, and we were really pleased with that.”
Dallas, naturally, will take a great degree of credit for his performance, with Murty pointing out he contributed so much more than just his goals.
Murty continued: “He was the perfect foil for us at times. We know Andy is a very explosive player and he is very strong, and some of his link-up play as well was excellent.
“For Serge’s goal, we played a free-kick into him before Stevie Kelly ran off the front of him and he held it up well.
“We are hopeful he continues to improve as he has some very, very good attributes to his game and he is working extremely hard as they all are to try and iron out those other wrinkles that we all have.”
Stephen Kelly again starred in midfield for Gers, with Murty reckoning he benefited massively from his spell working with the first team.
He said: “He definitely has done. You can see he has that touch, that subtlety and he can play at a first-team pace with the ball – he deals with the ball really well and some of his link-up play, particularly for Cameron Palmer’s goal was great as it encapsulates the kind of build-up play we want to do and the areas we want to get into.
“We created a wonderful goal from that. We are happy with lots of different players, not just Stevie, and I think they are all benefiting from training with the first team.
“Every single player who played yesterday has had a time round with the first team.
“They [the players] see the ultimate goal is to go and play for the first team, and not have this game being the highlight of their careers.
“We urged them to think about them after the game, and although they have made good progress and I have been really impressed with them from minute one of pre-season, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels – they need to continue to push and they need to continue to grow and to develop.
“That is why we need to put these games on. We are fantastically lucky we can go to Hamburg and places like that to put games on, but we do that to extend their growth and accelerate their learning.
“They appreciate that they understand they are not the finished article yet.”
Between now and Christmas, Gers will play Spartak Moscow home and away as well as Rapid Vienna away, on top of their domestic reserve matches.
Murty added: “We have the league programme to see and hopefully excel in, but we also have international challenge matches coming up, which is fantastic for the players.
“We have no doubt that there will be a number of different problems for the players to solve, and we are very keen as a staff not to problem solve much from the sidelines, but to encourage the players to do that, and what we are seeing from them is a consistent level of that and we are hopeful that can continue and improve as the more they can go and do that on a football pitch, the more adaptable they are and the more success they are going to have in the future.”