GRAEME Murty says he has enjoyed watching his young Colts side grow as they progressed to the semi-finals of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup.
The Gers beat Wrexham 2-0 at Ibrox this afternoon and the Development Head Coach has enjoyed seeing the players continue to learn throughout their cup run.
Speaking to RangersTV after the game, he said: “To have managed to get through to the semi-finals is fantastic for the group.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them and seeing them grow and we are onto the next challenge.
“The challenge as always is to win the next game, it is a lot different from Academy football where you get a regular games programme but this means something to the players it has got a status attached to it and consequence.
“I think whilst they have been stretched you are seeing the best of some of them.
“I thought some of our play and some of our individual performances were top drawer, our challenge for them is to harness all of those elements into a 90 minute performance.
“I think when we do that we will say that our development and our teaching is having a real effect.”
Rangers were ahead in the first-half after a Jamie Barjonas strike, with Nathan Young-Coombes doubling their lead after the break.
Murty was pleased with the way the squad dealt with the occasion of playing at Ibrox.
He continued: “It was a big test for our young players, it is the biggest crowd many of them have played in front of.
“It is a big occasion for the guys and I thought they handled it over all quite well.
“I thought we deserved to be in the lead at half-time, they made it really difficult for us at 20 minutes or so in the second-half where we didn’t really deal with what they were doing very well but we possess players that have good quality and good ability in the final third and that always gives you hope that you can create something.
“I thought the two experienced players George and Jon Flanagan were great with our young players in terms of the way they prepped, the way they handled the occasion and the way they spoke to the young players during the entire game
“As a squad they had to show different sides to their game today as good as they were technically, they had a good mentality to be a little bit resilient when they were under a little bit of pressure and things weren’t going their way and I think historically we might not have shown that element of their game so credit to them for doing that and credit to them for getting through.”
Over 5000 fans turned out for the game, and Murty was grateful for the support for the Colts.
He said: “It was brilliant I have got to credit the noise and the atmosphere in the arena, it was good for the boys to have that noise.
They had big smiles on their faces as they walked out and Simply the Best is blaring and the music’s going and the fans are chanting it’s brilliant.
“We were really grateful that people came along and we were really grateful that so many turned up and our guys need it and I think you can see the players thriving.
“My last challenge to them before we came out was be a player that relishes this atmosphere because you have to grow into a Rangers shirt.
“It is no good for you to walk onto a football pitch and freeze or shrink you need to grow and love this atmosphere and love this occasion and still be able to play and I thought for very very young people they handled it very well.”