The 18-year-old admits that it is hard to go from playing at Ibrox in front of 45,000 to smaller stadiums such as this weekend’s, which holds 2020. 

Away from the crowd he has had to adapt to the special attention a Premier League loan star gets north of the border – but he loves it. 

Zelalem said: “I didn’t expect the attention, a lot of people said I would get asked for autographs and pictures but I just thought “Ah ok” and didn’t think it would happen.

“But everywhere you go you bump into fans and see them appreciating you so it is really good – I like that part of it. 

“A lot of people said Scottish football would be tough and physical but I haven’t really found it that difficult because my game is all about one touch, two touch, so I don’t even try to get into physical battles because that’s not part of my game. 

“I thought last Saturday that one of the midfielders was really tight on me all the time and I found it hard to make space for myself.

“But you see Messi and I’m sure teams try and stop him playing but it doesn’t stop him so I’ll have to get used to that. 

“I like the pressure of expectation and I like the spotlight and I expect that from myself so it doesn’t affect me.”

Both sides will be hoping to avenge their own problems on Saturday – Rangers’ being their poor display in the 3-0 win over Livingston and Dumbarton looking for their first win in over a month. 

Much attention has been paid to the standards of Gers game dropping last weekend and the team have been in analysis meetings to solve the problem. 

Zelalem said: “We looked at the Livingston game on Monday in analysis and it was about how we need to push up more and not come so deep. 

“He didn’t really show us bad back passes because we know that ourselves that we need to step it up. 

“Monday was a really good start to a better week, we had a high intensity training session and we did the same for the rest of the week and have prepared well.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard to adapt to smaller crowds but you have to get used to it, even at Queen of the South there was nowhere near as many fans at Ibrox but you have to play well wherever you go. 

“I get most of my information about the opposition from the analysis guys here but now and again I go away and look at the standings myself, see where the teams are we’re playing and how they’ve been doing. 

“It’s hard to play against a team looking for a win, I think you saw that against Livingston – they came out and defended really well and we found it really difficult.

“So we can’t be complacent on Saturday and we need to play at a higher standard and keep the ball moving.”

Article Copyright © 2020. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to