CAMMY PALMER reckons Rangers’ recovery from losing a two-goal lead against Partick Thistle in the SFA Youth Cup was no shock – as his side are full of big characters.
The Development side entertained the Jags at Ibrox in the third round of the cup competition and had built themselves a comfortable lead through Zak Rudden and Andy Dallas goals early in the second half.
But a double from Thistle’s Neil McLaughlin soon after brought the Gers, managed again by Billy Kirkwood, crashing back down to earth as the tie was forced to extra-time.
Up stepped Rangers though as Serge Atakayi, Dapo Mebude and a second from striker Rudden ensured a 5-2 triumph on the night and a place in the fourth round draw.
Palmer was given a central midfield role alongside Jamie Barjonas and Stephen Kelly as he continues his development in the Under-20 squad despite only turning 17 in May earlier this year.
The youngster, who was raised in Canada but has already featured for both Scotland and Northern Ireland’s international sides at youth level, reckons coming back to win the game was just testament to the personalties that exist within his group at Rangers.
“I thought in the first half we didn’t stick to the bread and butter things like keeping the ball,” Palmer said. “But as soon as the second half came we just had to take control of the game and stick to things we’re good at. I thought that showed as we went two-nil up but lack of concentration and we let two goals in.
“We’ve got quite a lot of big characters in the team so that’s not a shock for us [recovering from losing the lead]. We’ve had a lot of games this season that we’ve been up and then been brought back to level so we are kind of used to it. We just need to get into the swing of things and not let these things happen on a regular basis.”
With the Games Programme in full flow this season, the Scottish Cup tie was a chance for Rangers to test themselves against fellow Scottish opposition in a competitive fixture. Continuing the strategy from that new scheme, the Gers took on Thistle on the hallowed Ibrox turf with supporters in attendance and Palmer believes that sort of setting is the perfect motivation for him and his fellow youngsters to gain motivation from.
He said: “It’s unbelievable because it’s somewhere you want to be in the future. So it’s good to get in the habit of playing in front of a crowd and getting an atmosphere – even when you go back to two each or have a lot of pressure it’s really good for us to have that experience.”
The 17-year-old has been a regular fixture in both Graeme Murty and Kirkwood’s starting XI so far in this campaign and with another 120 minutes under his belt, the midfielder believes regular game-time is doing him the world of good – and he hopes to follow team-mate Barjonas with a breakthrough into the first-team as soon as he can.
He added: “It’s amazing to get as many minutes as I can, this year has been a big step up for me but I feel like I’m learning every day and I’m obviously delighted to keep my place in the team every week.
“Barjo is a really good player, we work really well together. He played a lot at the start of the season but obviously he’s gone up so we haven’t really played much but he’s a great player and he really deserves to be up there.”