GRAEME Murty thanked Danny Wilson and Niko Kranjcar for being positive role models to his Development Squad in their win over Dundee United.
The Under 20s won 3-1 on Friday with Serge Atakayi, Matt Shiels and Kranjcar all on the scoresheet. The Croatian and centre-half Wilson were gaining valuable game time after lay-offs from injury.
While Kranjcar impressed Murty’s players with his forward thinking it was Wilson’s vocal approach to his defending which the youngsters learnt from – according to their Head Coach.
Murty explained: “It was a really good exercise; it was an opportunity for boys like Matty Shiels and Stephen Kelly to get 90 minutes as well.
“They also got some really positive modelling by playing alongside first-team players like Danny and Niko, who I have to say, displayed a brilliant attitude.
“The midfield players were raving about Niko’s perception of the game, how quickly he sees things, the angles he takes up and some of the things he can attempt because he is in the right place and he has seen two or three passes ahead. For them to see that up close is really good.
“They were both excellent at speaking to the players; they were both really good at encouraging the young players and telling them where to be.
“Danny (Wilson) is a very vocal guy anyway and it is good for the young players to see that level of communication because it is something that we have highlighted to them this year.
“That communication needs to accelerate, it needs to be to a much higher standard and for them to see a first-team player do it rather than have a coach talk about it all the time is much more effective as a learning process.”
Dundee United were the first Scottish team the Development Squad have faced since they began their Games Programme this season, playing teams from Europe’s top academies.
Murty continued: “I think we displayed a little bit of control, not as much as I would have liked but our concentration was definitely improved.
“We can move the ball quicker, we can move the ball faster but I am never satisfied, that’s just what I am like.
“We always want to go to the next level so what I am looking for is improvement week on week and there are certain specific tactical elements we are looking for.
“We hit some of our targets but not all and I want to make sure they remain focussed on playing the game but playing the game in a certain tactical manner to get the outcomes we want.”
Watch out for a preview of the Development Squad’s game against AZ Alkmaar online this Tuesday.