RHYS McCABE became the latest in a string of central midfielders to emerge from Murray Park an in to the first team when he made his debut for Rangers last month.

Handed his first start against Hearts at the beginning of March, McCabe followed in the footsteps of Jamie Ness and Kyle Hutton in the middle of the pitch.

It is a position that brings with it a responsibility to control games, but rather than be over-awed by that McCabe has embraced it.

He said: “It’s something that the coaches try to drill in to you right through the academy, to be comfortable on the ball.

“There are exercises for switches of play and drills to work on the technical aspects of the game, like using both feet, so it seems to be a strong position in the academy.

“It’s been something that I’ve practised since I was young and has been drilled in to me so that when the time came to get a chance in the first team I was ready and comfortable doing things with both feet.

“Getting this chance is not something that, at the start of the season, I looked at as my main objective but under the circumstances the manager has had to throw some younger boys in.

“The likes of Ross Perry and I have been getting games so it’s been a good experience and I’ve enjoyed it.

“Playing with guys like Steven Davis and Mo Edu helps you get through it because they are top quality players and that’s all you can ask.

“It’s been great just to be going round to the professional side of Murray Park and to be training with the first team guys on a regular basis.

“To then go on and play alongside them on a match day has been fantastic.

“I feel I’ve done well and been confident and it’s been good to have advice from the experienced guys to keep me calm and settle me down.

“That’s been a great help so I have a lot of admiration for them.”

That help has been of particular benefit as McCabe stepped in to the first team at a time when off-field issues have had a significant impact on the pitch too.

He added: “The boys have done really well in the situation we’ve been in, especially the experienced players.

“To be thrown in to the mix at a time like this has been hard but something that all the boys have enjoyed I think.”

McCabe is part of a special programme focusing on Murray Park on RangersTV tonight. Subscribe today to watch the show featuring Jim Sinclair, Steven Davis, Ian Durrant, Lewis Macleod and Stuart Urquhart.

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