David McCallum has raved about three young Rangers midfielders for delivering strong performances in the 3-0 UEFA Youth League win over Hammarby IF.

The Young Gers took on the Swedish youth champions in Dumbarton on Tuesday night in the first leg of their first-round clash.

UK - Dumbarton - Football Match

Rangers deservedly defeated Hammarby at the rock. (Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images)

The visitors were much bigger physically but the hosts – adopting a near-identical shape and style to the first team – played them off the park.

There were strong individual displays throughout the team but speaking pitchside after the game, McCallum heaped praise on his dynamic midfield trio of Charlie Lindsay, Murray Miller and Cole McKinnon.


“I thought Charlie was very good tonight,” he said. “I think what he does is that he takes the ball in tight situations when maybe others wouldn’t.”

“Not only does he have the calmness to control, but he then goes and creates off the back of that as well. He’s got that mixture in his game.

“I think we should also talk about Murray Miller tonight, as well. We’ve challenged him to be a lot more forward with his passing, trying to hurt teams rather than being safe and I thought he did that very well.

“Then you’ve got Cole McKinnon, who brings a different dimension. He’s probably one who’s a little bit more direct in terms of hitting the box, so that when we get to the final third he’s there trying to be a threat. We’ve got a good mixture and there are others who are ready to come in and try to challenge them as well.”

Cole McKinnon (pictured in SuperCupNI action in 2018) was one of three Rangers midfielders praised by McCallum after the Hammarby win. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The coaching staff are challenging Academy players to mirror the first-team stars who play in their position and that was evident on Tuesday night, particularly with Lindsay, who dropped deep and dictated the tempo in the first half just like his role model Steven Davis often does.

Miller and McKinnon both impressed too, though, with their energy and ability on the ball, and all three midfielders will be key once again if the Young Gers are to secure a positive result in the second leg in Sweden next month.

In case you missed it, here are three things we learned from the first leg.

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