Rangers Colts boss Graeme Murty has looked ahead to his side’s clash with Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday and thinks playing in front of a big crowd will be “fantastic” for his players.

There should be a good crowd at Firhill on 1pm on Wednesday afternoon – as well as live TV coverage on BT Sports – and Murty wants his side to make the most of the one-off clash for a place in the last 16 at stake.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 04: Rangers manager Graeme Murty is seen during the Scottish Cup Quarter final match between Rangers and Hamilton Academical at Ibrox Stadium on March 4, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Having beaten Young Boys and Slovan Bratislava so far in their debut year in UEFA’s elite youth competition, the former Scotland international hopes there are more opportunities for his side to sample similar experiences in the future in front of even bigger crowds.

“They have worked extremely hard for this reward – and it is a reward – so they should enjoy it, but they need to make sure they enjoy it for the right reasons – that they are competitive and that they play their best, and from now until then, they need to maximise this time to learn, to prepare, to rest, to hydrate and to be ready when they step onto the pitch to give their best as, if they don’t, I think they will feel a little bit disappointed,” Murty told Rangers TV.

“What they have done so far this season has put them in a really, really good position.


“(Playing in front of a crowd) is fantastic for them,” he added. “They have to be able to go and manage their nerves, their anxieties and their pressures – and the world watching, commenting and having an opinion on your performance.

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“This is something where our young players have grown and it is something that they have developed, but it is something we need to extend further. They need more opportunities to play in front of a crowd, and they need bigger crowds more often and more challenging to really get their nerves on edge as we would like them to walk out at Ibrox on the biggest of occasions and thrive and relish it.”

After facing the Spanish giants at Firhill, attention will quickly turn to Sunday’s Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup semi-final against Championship playoff hopefuls Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 17: Nathan Patterson of Rangers is seen making his competitive debut during the Scottish Cup fourth round match between Rangers and Stranraer FC at Ibrox Stadium on January 17, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Coming out of the double-header with two wins would be a fantastic achievement for Murty’s young side and, hopefully, lead to more making the breakthrough to the first-team.

It has been a fantastic season so far for the Colts and the next week could be a massive landmark in the campaign as they look to emulate the first-team’s last cup success in 2016.

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