Rangers midfielder Macleod will keep his feet on ground

ALLY McCOIST is confident Lewis Macleod won't get carried away with the hype surrounding him as he continues to shine for Rangers.

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Lewis Macleod has returned to the Rangers top team after a viral illness last season
Lewis Macleod has returned to the Rangers top team after a viral illness last season

The midfielder has emerged as one of the most promising young talents in the country, with Ibrox striker Kris Boyd tipping him to become a hit like Light Blues legend Barry Ferguson.

Macleod took his tally for the season to three with a brace in Rangers' 8-1 win over Clyde on Monday night.

And McCoist is delighted to see him fulfilling his promise after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a viral problem earlier this year.

He said: "We missed him last season as much as he missed us, which was a lot.

"He's a great young talent who has got a long, long way to go. He'll keep developing and progressing and we've certainly got high hopes for him.

"But at the same time, we don't want to get carried away and put any undue pressure on him.

"There is enough of a level of expectancy on him without me needing to create

any more. He produced a top performance the other night with his finishing and midfield display against Clyde.

"But Lewis is still a young lad who has a long, long way to go and we are just looking forward to watching him developing.

"He'll handle it fine. He won't get carried away.

"We will keep his feet on the ground, not that we'll have to because he's a very level-headed and intelligent boy and he knows he still has a lot to learn.

"It must be remembered that he's only turned 20. It was a real blow for us last season when he fell ill but, in comparison, it was a much bigger blow for Lewis.

"So it's just great to see him back playing for us with a smile on his face."

Macleod has turned in a series of superb performances since being handed his Rangers debut by McCoist two years ago.

And while the expectation has grown on his young shoulders, the Rangers manager is keen to continue playing his part in the youngster's development.

McCoist said: "We have a duty to handle him right, particularly at a club like ours where we get told every other day that we should be flooding the place with kids, even though that clearly wouldn't help the kids or the club.

"But we are duty bound to have a responsibility to the young players and, indeed, to their parents, to educate them and look after them as much as we can for their benefit.

"So we try to talk to the mums and dads and do our best to reassure them that this is a good environment for their children to be educated and brought up in the footballing world.

"It's a massive responsibility that we all have here."

Meanwhile, Dumbarton boss Ian Murray, who played 60 times for Rangers between 2005 and 2007, is looking for a positive reaction from his team following two league defeats against Raith Rovers and Queen of the South.

He said: "We will need to concentrate fully on what lies before us at Ibrox tomorrow.

"Rangers will be in full flow after their home 8-1 win against Clyde. That shows what they can do with the quality they have at their disposal.

"We will be playing in front of what will be a huge crowd by our standards and our lads will need to be at their best for the entire 90 minutes."


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