GRAEME MURTY had mixed emotions after his Rangers side earned a 3-3 draw away to BSC Young Boys in their UEFA Youth League opener yesterday.
The Light Blues were 3-1 up at one stage before being pegged-back, but they do still carry an advantage on away goals into the second leg in Glasgow on October 23.
“I think it is a little bit of an opportunity missed as some of our play was really good and we managed to get 3-1 ahead,” explained coach Murty.
“I think a little bit of fatigue and a little bit of pressure in the minds of the players told, and we started to make some really, really strange decisions and decisions we wouldn’t expect from our players.
“Coming away from home in Europe and scoring three goals is fantastic – so there is no point in them being down.
“They have shown more than enough potential to go and hurt their opponents on the ball. We just need to tidy a few things up and we will be okay. But, once again, it was a great learning experience for the players and something they shouldn’t be down about at all.”
In terms of that learning experience, Murty believes it will stand them in good stead going into the next leg, and he added: “It is great, and we have just said to them, ‘do you think you can operate at this level?’ This is their first game in the UEFA Youth League and it is the pinnacle – so there will have been some nerves.
“Do they think they can handle it? Do they think they have the game? Yes. But, they know they need to be able, nine out of ten, and make sure they cut out some mistakes and teams will punish you.
“They do at this level, and it is a great lesson for them. If we do that at home, potentially we might get away with it, but we can’t here.
“There is no better feedback than that – there is no feedback from the coach or the staff or anything else, the instant feedback is they are going to hurt you and they are going to punish your mistakes.
“We need to cut them out or we need to make sure they aren’t in areas which can be damaging to the team.
“But I thought that for the majority of the game, we were very good.”
All three of Gers’ goals were excellent in their own way, and Murty continued: “They were good to be fair and all different things.
“We are quite happy as the defenders got a couple which is great from set-plays, and it is things when you look at the preparation that you do, as much as the players have to execute, it’s the preparation and it’s talking about areas to work through and different things which might get you success which the players have taken note of.
“That’s great for us as a coaching staff, but ultimately, the players have to go and execute and I thought all three goals, for different reasons, had a real, good stamp of quality on them.
“If you look at them you think our players have acquitted themselves really well and there shouldn’t be anything to be fearful of.”