Getting both barrels from fans won't halt Rangers young guns firing up

KYLE Hutton today warned the Rangers young guns to steel themselves for the realities of being a first team player at Ibrox.

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Kyle Hutton has endured a frustrating season but is hopeful he can secure a new deal at Ibrox
Kyle Hutton has endured a frustrating season but is hopeful he can secure a new deal at Ibrox

But he has backed promising kids like Calum Gallagher and Charlie Telfer to take the step up in their stride.

Hutton knows all about the intense demands of representing the Govan club at a young age, having broken through when he was 19.

After making only four appearances for Walter Smith's team - and just one start - he found himself playing in the Champions League against Manchester United.

The central midfielder acquitted himself superbly in an outing that Sir Alex Ferguson's superstars edged 1-0 courtesy of a late Wayne Rooney penalty.

The teenager then went on to feature in further European ties against Bursaspor and PSV Eindhoven. He was also involved in two Old Firm ties.

Hutton then capped his debut campaign by helping his boyhood heroes win their third consecutive Scottish title.

Those invaluable experiences gave the Cambuslang boy a unique insight into what it takes to make the grade at the Glasgow giants.

And he understands only too well that if his standards drop below an accepted level Rangers fans are not slow in letting him know about it.

The abuse that Light Blues players suffer - including from their own supporters - has been highlighted in the last few weeks through Steven Simonsen and Nicky Law.

Hutton, who will be looking to earn himself a new deal in the final game of the 2013/14 campaign on Saturday, knows the kids have to learn how to handle the scrutiny.

"I have been in the same situation as boys like Calum Gallagher and Charlie Telfer, young lads stepping up into the first team, it can be difficult," he said.

"At the moment we have seasoned professionals like Jon Daly, Nicky Law and Lee McCulloch in the side.

"It is always nerve-wracking going from the youth set-up into a team that is made up of big players. I have been there.

"I think the most important thing is coping with your nerves, getting over butterflies you may have, and concentrating on showing everybody what you are capable of.

"The games we have had since we won League One have been perfect for the manager to give the best of the young boys a chance.

"On Saturday, for example, the manager brought on Calum and Charlie when the game was won and Stenhousemuir were down to 10 men. They had space to play in."

Hutton added: "Getting criticised if you fail to produce the goods just goes with the territory at Rangers. All the fans pay their money.

"The supporters want and expect to see good performances week in, week out. Sometimes it doesn't work out and they voice their frustrations.

"As a Rangers player you have to learn to block it out. Sometimes it definitely can get to you. But to succeed here you need to perform.

"The young boys who are coming through now are all extremely talented players with good personalities and I am confident they will be able to deal with that."

Hutton recovered from a broken leg that caused him to miss nearly four months of the season before returning last month.

The 23-year-old, who remained with Rangers when they dropped down to the Third Division back in 2012, is out of contract in the summer and is hoping to extend his stay.

The final fixture against Dunfermline at East End Park this Saturday - when Rangers will bid to compelte their league programme undefeated - is important for him.

He said: "I really enjoyed being part of the celebrations when we received the trophy at the weekend.

"These occasions are great for the fans and for everyone involved with the club.

"It has been a poor season for me with the injuries which I have had which have meant that I have been unable to play. But I have been involved in recent weeks and hopefully that will continue.

"I will be hoping to get my name on the team sheet in the game against Dunfermline so I can try to show the manager that I deserve an extension to my current contract.

"I have spoken to him about my situation a few times, but there has been a lot going on in the background.

"I have had to wait for that to be sorted out. We will have to wait and see what happens."


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