Graeme Murty taken aback by pulling power of Rangers

Rangers manager Graeme Murty. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Rangers manager Graeme Murty. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
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Graeme Murty says Rangers still have pulling power and stature around the globe as he continues to try to strengthen the squad for the second half of the season.

His phone has barely stopped ringing this week in Florida, where he has been integrating new players, welcoming back some old faces and reinvigorating the existing ones.

Murty has been pleasantly surprised at the level of interest as he seeks to put his own stamp on the team, having been given the manager’s job until the end of the season.

He secured a 1-0 win over Atletico Mineiro on Thursday night playing two different XIs and will do the same again today against Corinthians as Rangers complete their two matches in the 
Florida Cup.

He said: “We are working hard behind the scenes on a number of things. But the thing I wasn’t prepared for was just how many people recognise the size of this club.

“We all know, the guys that are immersed in the football club every day know how big it is to play here. But you forget the regard it is held in around England and around Europe as well because some of the people that are phoning up are high level.

“It has been great for me to have a sounding board in [football director] Mark Allen to actually guide me in some regards and get me prepped for what has been a busy period. It is a demanding time but I think you saw on Thursday that we have done some good business.

“I am not sure that business is finished and if the business can be as good or even better then we will put ourselves in a good position and that is the idea, to strengthen the group and take us to a higher level than we are currently operating on.

“Plans have been in place for a while in terms of strengthening certain areas but if the right personnel become available, with the right character and the right attributes, we have to be reactive enough and quick enough to make sure we can secure them if we think they are right.”

Jamie Murphy, Sean Goss, Andy Halliday and Michael O’Halloran all performed positively against Atletico Mineiro and Murty is looking forward to seeing further improvement against Corinthians today after an excellent week’s training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.

He said: “I sold it to the players as two high-intensity 45-minute sessions and that’s what it turned into. Some of the younger guys also got experience against South American opposition.

“IMG is a fantastic facility. I can’t speak highly enough of them and the welcome they gave us.

“The players really responded to some of the things I wanted to do. The spirit has been really good – leading up to and including the fact I got a bucket of ice thrown on my head the other day.

“It just shows they are in high spirts and hopefully we can lay down some really good foundations for the second half of the season.”

It was Josh Windass who scored the winning goal on Thursday night, continuing his recent run of good form, and Niko Kranjcar believes he could play in the English Premier League in the future.

Kranjcar said: “He has evolved and he’s getting better and better every single day. The most important thing is the confidence and with the talent that he’s got both physical and on the ball, I think he has a very bright future ahead of him.

“I’m sure he will be good enough to play in the Premier League in the future.”