Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has shown no concerns about giving young players a chance at Ibrox. Teenage defenders Myles Beerman and Ross McCrorie were thrown in at the deep end in Old Firm clashes with Celtic, although the latter swam while the former sunk, while David Bates and Aiden White also made their debuts in The Gers’ back four.
Ryan Hardie, however, is finding opportunities far harder to come by at the other end of the pitch. The 20-year-old impressed on loan at St Mirren last season, scoring 13 goals for the second division side, but seemingly has a lot to do to win over Caixinha.
Hardie has featured just once in the first-team this season, the final 18 minutes of August’s goalless draw with Hearts. And the emergence of another young striker from Auchenhowie in recent months could make it even more difficult for the Scotland starlet to force his way into the first-team plans.
Caixinha took the opportunity to hand four more youngsters a chance during the weekend’s behind-closed-doors friendly clash with Morton and the inclusion of 18-year-old Andy Dallas was intriguing.
Dallas, who has made three appearances in the Irn Bru cup, is making his name in Rangers’ development squad and, according to the Daily Record, is rated extremely highly by coach Graeme Murty.
The striker, who actually featured at full-back against Morton, will certainly give Caixinha food for thought if he continues his excellent form for the reserves. But where would this leave Hardie?