RANGERS under-20s are ready for tomorrow’s City of Glasgow Cup Final at Parkhead, according to coach Graeme Murty.
The Light Blues are looking to retain the trophy they won at under-17 level last season, with the tournament this season having changed into an under-20 competition.
Murty will lead his charges to the East End tomorrow night, and he reckons they should be confident of going out and playing their game.
Speaking to RangersTV this afternoon, Murty said: “It is good and they are ready for it. They would rather it was today rather than tomorrow, but it will come soon enough and we are looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to a good opponent.
“We are looking forward to getting it kicked off as all the nerves will stop, the game will begin and then we will be in a better place.
“The season should give them confidence as they have been really good all season. They have been really competitive and they have handled every challenge we have thrown at them and come out really well.
“Regardless of where we go and regardless of who we play, we are confident we can go and play our football.
“So we are looking forward to the challenge once again and there will be a different connotation again going into it – there will be a few nerves obviously and there will be managing the occasion – but once that bit is by with and the football then starts, hopefully we can get our guys to put in a good performance.”
Players from Thursday’ superb 3-2 win over Celtic in the Scottish FA Youth Cup final have the opportunity to be involved again tomorrow, with Murty thrilled at how they went about their business.
“They represented themselves really well. They managed the shock of getting back to 2-2 really well and I thought the showed great character.
“They played some great football and I think the 20s can learn from that as regardless of going ahead or going behind, they still need to manage the game.
“But the 20s have been fantastic all season at just going and playing their game. If they go and do that, then I am confident we will match up very, very well.
“If they do, they can come back with the trophy and hopefully the 18s won’t have too many bragging rights over them.
“Definitely [they have a chance], and there should be as they have been really good all season as well. We know the 18s squad is a tight-knit squad and they have done really well all season, the 20s squad have done really well, but we need to supplement the two.
“We need to make sure the guys who are doing well in the 18s get the challenge of playing at the next level and they get the opportunity, with the way they have played, to go to a higher standard.
“If we can afford them that opportunity, it’s up to them to go and grasp that opportunity as hard as they can and make sure they do something memorable.
“If they do that, then they will have continued their growth, will have continued their development and it will all be to the benefit of the football club.”
Murty also spoke about what the players will be doing between now and kick-off tomorrow, adding: “We make sure we get them away out of the training ground sharpish as we don’t want them hanging about for too long and thinking about too much.
“We have done our prep, we have done our patters and our sharpness work, so tomorrow we will go through a quick meeting on the team line-up and how we are going to try and play, what we are going to stop Celtic doing and then some set-plays.
“But, the guys know how we play, the guys know our patterns and the guys know how we want to represent ourselves.
“More than anything else, it is about managing them and managing the individual. We know our guys really well, we have spent all year with them, and for some of them, we will have spent seven, eight, nine years with them.
“So it is about making sure we take away any impediment and we just let them feel free to go represent themselves and play with a freedom and that expressiveness we have had all year. If they go and do that, we will be happy.”