RANGERS' young guns are ready to step into the firing line – according to the club's Academy director, Jimmy Sinclair.
Nineteen-year-old Rhys McCabe helped Rangers blast away Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday and there is more ammunition to come from the Murray Park training centre.
And Sinclair today told SportTimes: "I am absolutely confident we have the young players who can continue to help the club win matches. That is what it is all about here."
McCabe – who has followed such as Kyle Hutton, Andrew Little, Gregg Wylde and Jamie Ness into the first team – starred as Rangers defeated Celtic 3-2 and grabbed the opportunity offered by Ally McCoist.
"It is a good time to be a young Rangers player," said Sinclair. "The boys all know it, too. At the start of the financial trouble, academy coaches pushed the line that they must seize the chance to burst through to the first team and now they see it is true."
He added: "It is ironic it takes the club's financial position to highlight it, but we have the kids who can step forward and make a contribution."
Sinclair pointed out former manager Walter Smith had used the Murray Park graduates in his spell as manager.
"Kyle Hutton came in against Manchester United in the Champions League and Darren Cole did likewise against Bursaspor," he said. "It is now teed up for kids to contribute."
He added: "I am confident we have the ammunition. These young players are not thrown into a bath of cold water. They are acclimatised to the demands of the first team by training with them regularly. They have stood up to the challenge when put in the first team."
Little has already shown the way to the top side and he has paid tribute to his team-mates for brushing aside the club's troubles to claim an impressive derby victory.
He said: "Every single player just showed they didn't want to be beaten. That really came through and we had a lot of pride.
"We used all the bad stuff which has happened to us to our advantage and it was absolutely superb. The attitude from every single one of our players was unreal."
The striker added: "The gaffer told me to go and get a goal and it was great to score.
"When I was sitting on the bench, I was thinking about how good it would be to score and I was planning my celebration, but I think I just went mad when the ball went in.
"I'm loving every minute at the moment and it hasn't just been in the last four or five games. I've been feeling really good for a few months and I've been scoring in reserve games."