RANGERS Colts are preparing to face Wrexham on Saturday in their Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup quarter-final.
A string of impressive away performances from the Colts saw them overcome Berwick, Stranraer, Ballymena and Solihull on their journey to the quarter-final, and Graeme Murty is expecting another step-up against Dean Keates’ Wrexham.
Speaking to RangersTV ahead of the game, Murty said: “We are expecting a step-up in physicality and in technicality and we are expecting a step-up in terms of expectation now on the shoulders of our players.
“With every round we go through we expect the occasion to be greater, the demand to be greater, the challenge to be greater and our players’ response to that to be greater.
“If they manage to do that and continue to show the development they’ve shown then we are hopeful we can have a good day.”
The Development squad Head Coach feels the change in his players has been noticeable throughout the Challenge Cup competition.
He added: “I am proud of them, I think what they have managed to do so far, not just in this competition, but the development they have shown as young men has been noticeable.
“Not just for us, but I think for people who come and watch us on a weekly basis, they have seen changes within our young players which is good.
“We are happy with what they have done, proud of what they have done but we are not content, we want them to keep striving to improve and get better and to increase that challenge.”
The Colts will operate almost like the first-team for the day, having their pre-match meal and preparations at Ibrox on Saturday morning.
Murty feels this is another new scenario that will benefit the youngsters.
He explained: “The guys will see the stadium as a different challenge but we are really grateful to the first team and to the ground staff for allowing us to be at Ibrox because it is really important in our player development that they experience the stadium.
“If they are going to play for our first team they need to experience Ibrox and they need to have that knowledge of the history of the club pushing down on them because it takes a big player to fill a Rangers shirt.
“We want them to get through to the first team but we need to prep them, we need to make sure psycologically they are ready, technically they are ready and physically they are ready.
“This competition this year has allowed us to stretch them in many different ways more than any group before so we are really thankful for being in it and I am really thankful to the players for continuing to meet every challenge head on as they have done.
With the first-team on International break, Murty encouraged fans to come along to Ibrox and support the Colts.
He added: “I would urge people to come along just to see if what we are talking about is true, every time we have talked about them, the guys that have stood up and done themselves proud and the club proud.
“We would love more people to see it and more fans to come along and actually see what we are talking about see the work that goes on behind the scenes and actually get an idea of the next generation of young players that are coming through our academy.
“If you could come along hopefully it will be a great occasion with our team playing proper football, the Rangers way and doing everything they can to progress in the cup and win a game at Ibrox.
“They deserve the opportunity to go and show their skills in front of a crowd. I know how good they are and our staff know how good they are but we would love more and more people to get the opportunity to actually take in what they can do.”
The match will kick-off at 3pm, and admission to the game is £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. Tickets can be purchased online HERE, by calling 0871 702 1872* or in person at The Rangers Ticket Centre.
*Calls cost 13p plus network extras