ROSS McCRORIE was handed his first start for Rangers’ first team yesterday, and afterwards revealed his delight at being involved.

The 19 year-old Scot spent the latter half of last season on loan at Dumbarton, and that experience seems to have stood him in good stead with Pedro Caixinha fully involving him in his first-team plans before giving him the nod for the 1-1 draw with The New Saints.

McCrorie told “It was good to get in around the first team boys again for pre-season, and get a start too. I’m delighted with that, and while I’m disappointed with the end result, with the 45 minutes I played, it was great to get the legs going again.

“It feels good and while I only had the week off for summer, I’m more than happy to come in and get started straight away for pre-season, and getting the game time really helps.”

Prior to joining up with Rangers last week, McCrorie was involved with the Scotland squad in the Toulon tournament, but missed the Scots’ final match, the third place play-off with the Czech Republic, after suffering a head knock in the semi-final loss to England.

That ruled him out of any sort of action for a full week, and indeed, his first time back with a ball at his feet came in last week’s friendly win over Coleraine.

He added: “You have to abide by the rules when you have a concussion injury, so it was a week before I could train. The Coleraine game came a week after and the manager spoke to me the day before to ask if I was OK to go straight into the game.

“That was perfect for me and I got 45 minutes in that game too.”

Now, with Rangers drawn to face Progres Niederkorn in the Europa League next week, McCrorie is desperate to retain his place in Caixinha’s first team.

He said: “Hopefully I can keep impressing the manager and get into his plans and then see what happens from there. It’s a good draw for us and we’ll be looking forward to it.”

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