Rangers B head coach David McCallum has opened up on the challenges his side will face this season as they prepare to kick off the new campaign tonight.
The young Gers travel to face Civil Service Strollers and the Ibrox coach is working with a largely new group of players with the Light Blues making several signings and promoting from within.
After a promising season last season, Rangers will be looking to push closer to the title this term having watched as Bonnyrigg Rose ran away with the league and secured promotion to the SPFL.
McCallum knows his players face a wide variety of challenges this season and thinks their pre-season programme was well-designed to help them cope with what is thrown at them.
“I think internally we’ll look at us first because there are a number of lads who’ve came into this group for the first time from within the current structure, from the 18s moving forward to the B Team or outwith,” McCallum said.
“From an internal perspective, we’re trying to find them a way of understanding what men’s football is going to look like. The pre-season was destined for that, to try and get a balance between playing against certain men’s teams and playing against like-for-like outwith the Scottish structure like going to the tournament we had in the Czech Republic.
“There’s a different balance we try to put in place to find a way for our players to learn within. Externally you’ve got the usual mix like the supporter input. When it’s the supporters who came to watch us, they’ve been fantastic and hopefully, it’s something that’ll continue throughout the course of this season.
“There are different clubs that have come into the programme like Tranent, Cowdenbeath, Hearts that’ll bring three different types of games that we’ll look forward to facing up to. Having had the experience last season, hopefully it’ll help us understand it a little bit quicker. There will be challenges, there will be games when we’ll have a lot of possession but we’ll still find it difficult to win that game and it’s having to manage the emotional side of that and understanding we might have all this possession but that doesn’t necessarily win you football matches.
“You have to be ready to defend at any given moment, whether it be by direct play or a set play or a team that have been a little bit more robust in defending their final third. It’s trying to warn and making players aware of that threat that will always exist and recognise that we have to try bridge that gap that wasn’t always there as we come through academy football.”
Rangers B will be hoping to build on last season’s impressive debut
Despite the numerous changes in personnel, the Light Blues will be hoping to improve on last season’s impressive maiden campaign in the Lowland League.
The young Gers will take time to adjust to the new faces in their ranks but there is some really good talent added to squad and they should, hopefully, settle quickly.