Caretaker manager Graeme Murty’s warning that the Rangers first team squad are currently playing for their future at the club may not apply to Emerson Hyndman.
The on-loan Bournemouth midfielder, however, insists his transient status at the Ibrox club makes him no less committed to the task of improving their fortunes ahead of the appointment of a new manager.
Hyndman will return to his parent club at the end of the season but he is determined to play as significant a role as possible in reversing the decline in form and results which precipitated Mark Warburton’s departure a fortnight ago.
The 20-year-old USA international has impressed since Warburton struck an agreement with Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe to bring him north last month on a short-term deal.
He is adamant the turbulence now being experienced at Rangers has not adversely affected his enthusiasm for the move.
“I’m happy to be here,” said Hyndman. “I knew I’d joined a massive club and there is always going to be pressure, no matter what. Changes can happen at any time at any club. There are no guarantees. I signed for one manager here but at any time a manager can leave.
“So I signed for the club and I just want to see the club succeed. You have to feel a responsibility when you play here. There is so much history and the fans are so close to the club. You feel the disappointment yourself as a player, but when you feel it from the fans and everyone else around you as well, it really sinks in.
“I speak to Eddie Howe and he is still really calm about the situation. He sent me here to play football.
“He knew Mark Warburton and sent me to him at first, but he’s happy with the way it’s gone. He’s very comfortable with it all. I can possibly learn even more from an experience like this. There are always difficult situations along the way in football, whether you are 20 or 30. The timing is strange for me but I’m here to play football and to try to help the team win. So I don’t concentrate too much on what’s happening on the outside, I try to focus on the team and how we can improve.
“Do I need to toughen my mentality because of it? I’ve already developed that over time. I’ve had rough patches in the past during my career, when I was in and out of squads and with different managerial changes. So I’ve developed a mentality like that.
“Obviously, it’s kind of a different beast here because of the level of pressure which is constantly on the club. It’s pretty significant but I feel I can adapt to that pretty well. I know what to expect going into games now.”
In five of the six matches Hyndman has played for Rangers so far, they have conceded the first goal of the match. It is a trend he accepts they have to buck as they try to bounce back from last Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Dundee when they travel to Inverness in their latest Premiership fixture tonight.
“The way we start games has been a recurring issue,” he said. “We’ve gone a goal behind quite often recently. So it is a problem and we are trying to fix it.
“You can’t always start exactly how you want but it has been a recurring problem for us. Whether it’s the mentality, structure – whatever it is – we are trying to fix it. Training has been good overall, so it’s just about applying ourselves from the start.
“It was disappointing how we performed at Dundee. We evaluated it, looked at the positives and a lot of negatives. We’ve been back on the training pitch and the quality and intensity has been good, so hopefully we can bounce back in Inverness.
“I wouldn’t say there were home truths being said after the game last week. Everyone knew it wasn’t good enough and that we have to improve massively. We had a discussion but it was very calm, about the game and different parts of it. We know what we need to fix and hopefully we can show that on Friday night.”
The Rangers players received a vitriolic reaction from the travelling fans at Dens Park last weekend but Hyndman insists he was not taken aback by the subsequent fall-out from the defeat which saw them drop six points behind Aberdeen in the race for second place in the Premiership.
“No, I expected it,” he said. “If we perform like that, for a big club like this, you expect it. We are fighting for second place and we need to win games like that. So we expected the criticism and we took it on the chin. We understood why the fans were upset, we were upset ourselves.
“It doesn’t worry me that it could be a negative for me, as long as I can try to help the team. It’s a challenge for all the players, to step up. Because that’s what we have to do. If we perform consistently like we did at Dundee, then it’s not good. If you go 1-0 down every game, you have to change something.”