By Will Butcher
David Bates has lauded Pedro Caixinha’s faith in youth and defended the manager’s decision to go public with naming him and Myles Beerman in the team 36 hours before Rangers’ 0-0 draw against Kilmarnock on Wednesday.
Bates, 20, started the Scottish Premiership clash at centre-back alongside Danny Wilson, as they kept Lee McCulloch’s Killies quiet to secure the Gers’ 17th clean sheet of the season.
Speaking to Rangers TV on his club’s official Twitter account following the frustrating draw, Bates thanked Caixinha and praised his manager’s confidence in the Gers’ youth academy.
“The press kind of slated the gaffer for coming out before the game and saying that me and Myles were starting the game,” Bates said.
“He’s confident in all the players at the club. A lot of youth players are training with the first team as well as Under-17 players, so he shows everyone a lot of confidence.”
— RangersTV (@RangersTV) April 5, 2017
Rangers’ number 27 starred in what was his debut for the Gers, as he and Maltese left-back Beerman made up a makeshift back four to keep the likes of Kris Boyd quiet.
Caixinha was forced to make three defensive substitutions at half time on Saturday during the 1-1 draw against Motherwell, that saw Lee Hodson, Clint Hill and Lee Wallace all miss out on Wednesday night.
The draw leaves the Gers 12 points behind second placed Aberdeen and are now in danger of being caught up by fourth placed St. Johnstone.
Bates and Beerman will now be hoping to keep their place in Caixinha’s side ahead of Sunday’s crucial clash against Aberdeen.
In other Rangers news, fans have reacted on Twitter to the performance of Beerman.