How manner of Rangers Scottish Youth Cup win and pressure can help develop Ibrox stars of the future
Rangers Under-18s boss Cameron Campbell hailed his team for their first-half performance and the resilience showed in the second when coming under pressure to win the Scottish Youth Cup final against Hearts.
The Gers went into the break 2-0 ahead after a dominant first-half performance with goals from Darren McInally and Rory Wilson. They were, however, asked questions after the interval by a spirited revival from the Tynecastle Park side, Murray Thomas’ goal setting up a nervy finish.
Campbell took a lot from his side's showing, both in terms of what the team have been working on and developing, as well as new challenges faced.
“The first half was really impressive, the boys did a lot of things that we challenge them all the time on in terms of playing individually and combinations,” he said. “I think we saw that with the amount of times we managed to create chances.
“We had a good three or four chances we should have been more clinical with to put the game to bed and in the second half Hearts came out and they’re organised. They’re a good side, they’ve got lots of energy and gave it a good go.
“In the second half if we look for positives then it’s the resilience the boys showed and in cup finals it’s the wins that matters.
“In youth football we all want the development side and we want the performance to go with the result but in a cup final, it’s all about the win.
He added: “Pride is a good word to sum up how we feel as a staff collectively.
“We see how much work the boys do on a daily basis and that’s over a consistent number of years to get to this point so I’m really proud and it’s just a great feeling to see them lift the trophy.”
Getting to cup finals
One of those new experiences faced was holding onto a lead in a cup final in front of a crowd of more than 2,200.
"We try and stress them as much as possible in training every day for when they get into moments like that," Campbell said.
“Listen they’re playing in the national stadium with fans behind them, it won’t be comfortable the first time they do that but it’s good they overcame it.
"If you look at first team football, we’re here to develop players for that, you’re going to get cup finals and matches with that pressure.
“If we want to play at the highest level of the Premiership and Scottish Cup Finals, they’re going to have to deal with that so it’s a good experience.”
Campbell, keen to stress the collective success, didn’t allow him or the players to think it was going to be one of those nights when chances were missed in the opening stages with Hearts goalkeeper Liam McFarlane in inspired form.
"Their goalkeeper had a great game with some really top saves,” he said. “We weren’t nervous or stressed. In the semi-final we were 1-0 down and 2-1 down but we’ve got so much belief in the boys that the game is 90 minutes for a reason.
"It doesn’t matter what the score is after 11 minutes, after 20 minutes, it’s what the score is after 90 minutes that matters so I’m really pleased.”
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