ALEX MacDONALD knows how hard it can be to hit the ground running at Rangers.
But the Light Blues legend reckons time is all it will take to bring out the best in Ally McCoist's side.
The midfielder arrived at Ibrox in 1968 from St Johnstone and went on to pick up 12 major honours, including the 1972 European Cup-Winners' Cup as he made more than 500 appearances for the Gers.
McCoist has had to place his faith in a number of his Murray Park kids this season, with the likes of Ross Perry, Lewis Macleod and Fraser Aird thrust into the line-up regularly.
MacDonald admits it took him two seasons to settle into life in Light Blue, but the 64-year-old believes the current crop of Gers kids are in the ideal hands.
"People have to understand that some of these players are only 17, 18," MacDonald said.
"I came here as a 20-year-old and it took me two years to handle it and I had been coming here as a supporter for years. You must give the kids a chance.
"I can't see the Rangers fans settling for a team that just plays passes and keeps the ball. We were geared up to take people on, get in the box and score goals.
"The kids are coming through and are an exciting group. Don't forget, they are playing against experienced pros who are out to prove a point every weekend.
"You have to look after them, but you don't have a Harold Davis or John Greig to do that. They have got to learn quickly and they will be.
"Ally has signed lads from the SPL and they are finding it difficult so how are 17 or 18-year-olds meant to cope?
"When I played with Rangers, we went to face Queen's Park, an amateur side, and we found it difficult because they want to prove a point and beat you. It is the same situation these players find themselves in.
"Ally is just unbelievable. He is so approachable, he must give these young kids a lot of confidence and be great to play for.
"Once a Ranger, always a Ranger and Ally has proved that. The affection he has for the club will rub off on the kids. Everyone loves him and has a lot of affection for him.
"There is a lot of pressure on the manager of Rangers, it is a big, big job and a worldwide job. We just have to be patient and allow him to get on with it."
MacDonald was speaking at Ibrox as Rangers prepare to celebrate their 140-year history against Stirling on December 8.
Recent months have been the most tumultuous in the club's illustrious life, but the Barca Bear is delighted to see fans still flocking to Ibrox.
MacDonald said: "I am steeped in the history and guys like Sandy Jardine and Derek Johnstone are the same. This club is unbelievable. It is not a hobby, it is a way of life.
"We have 50,000 fans turning up every week and the atmosphere is terrific. I am not surprised by the support, I am glad they have still got the same feelings for the club.
"It is the same from the boss right through to the supporters."