By Guy Giles
Rangers forward Ryan Hardie has praised temporary boss Graeme Murty for showing confidence in him after being given elusive opportunities in the first team.
20-year-old striker Hardie had been frozen out for most of the season under Pedro Caixinha, but interim boss Murty has shown faith in the youngster by handing him two appearances in the last two matches.
Speaking to the Sunday Post after scoring Scotland U21’s equaliser against Latvia in a 1-1 draw on Friday, Hardie has illustrated the impact that Murty has had on his game.
He said: “At the start of the season, I was speaking to Pedro about my options. He said he wanted me to stay and be part of his squad.
“It was about me staying and trying to force my way into the team. It never happened under Pedro, but now I’m happy to be doing it under Graeme.
“I’ve worked with Graeme Murty for a couple of months when I wasn’t in the first-team, so he’s had the confidence in me to take me up to the first-team and get me involved. He’s a big factor in me being confident and being who I am today.
“This is my last season at Rangers, so I’m playing for a contract.”
The Gers academy graduate has found opportunities hard to come by so far at the club, making just 13 appearances in all competitions.
Successful loan spells at St. Mirren, where Hardie scored three goals in 17 appearances, and Raith Rovers, where he bagged 14 in 34, illustrate the youngster’s potential.
Rangers have picked up two valuable wins under caretaker boss Murty, running out 3-0 winners last time out against Partick Thistle to head into the international break on a high.
Murty’s side return to Premiership action on Saturday the 18th of November with a home match against Hamilton Accies.
In other Rangers news, Kris Boyd has defended his criticism of Rangers’ midfielder Ryan Jack.