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Stuart McCall highlights Rangers' young striking ‘weapon’

Rangers manager Stuart McCall was full of praise for Ryan Hardie after his home debut.

Stuart McCall has seen improved performances aplenty since taking over the Rangers hot-seat, but he has told the official club website about one player in particular that has caught his eye.

Ryan Hardie came on in the final 15 minutes of the game against Cowdenbeath, making his home debut after impressing McCall during his time at Motherwell and more recently at Rangers.

The young striker has notched 16 times for the U20s so far this season and has joined Andy Murdoch and Tom Walsh in the first-team ranks as McCall continues to give some of the Gers’ promising youngsters a chance.

The Scotland youth international has represented his country at U16, U17 and U18 age groups, and made his full Rangers debut in a League Cup victory at Falkirk in September 2014 aged just 17.

McCall knows the qualities the striker, who stands at 6ft, possesses and was clear in highlighting which situations he feels Hardie should be deployed in when speaking to the Rangers website.

He said: “I watched him play for the under 20s this week and he only had five touches in the game but he scored two goals and the goalie made two saves against him.

“I am delighted for him, he works hard and he is still only young and has a lot of work to be done on him.

“He has something that certainly I never had and the majority of people don’t have and that is that he knows where the goal is and a finisher.

“He gives us something different and he can go beyond teams and you need to have a bit of variety.

“In certain games I will need a certain type of player and for me Ryan coming on late on in games to get in behind teams is a good weapon to have.

“I have always liked pace and you get lots of players these days who want to come towards the ball and that is fine but you need to have a balance and Ryan certainly does that.”

Rangers strikers Kris Boyd and John Daly are both out of contract at the end of the season, leaving the possibility for Hardie to fill a bigger role in the team next campaign as a squad player, exposing him to more first-team football in order to aid his development.

Since the new manager’s arrival, Nicky Clark and Kenny Miller have both started to find goals after a baron spell for both during the opening months of 2015. With options up front crucial for Rangers as they approach the end of the season, Hardie may still have a very important part to play.

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