JASON HOLT has backed the current crop of Auchenhowie kids to make a bid for a spot in the Rangers squad this season.

Boss Pedro Caixinha handed the likes of Myles Beerman, Aidan Wilson and Jamie Barjonas their first team bows last term.

And defender Ross McCrorie has emerged through the ranks to turn in impressive performances against Partick Thistle, Celtic and Hamilton in recent weeks.

Now Holt has urged the Light Blues hopefuls to make the most of their chance to shine if they are called upon this term.

He said: “All the boys from the Under-20s that have come up to train with us have really impressed. They are training with us on a more regular basis.

“And as you have seen with Ross McCrorie, when he got his chance he did really well. I am delighted for him because he deserves it.

“All the boys have done really well and I think they are just hoping to impress and keep themselves in the gaffer’s thoughts.

“Along the season, there are going to be opportunities where people are going to drop out of the team and someone needs to step up and take that opportunity.

“Ross has done that and it shows the rest of the lads in the Under-20s that there is an opportunity there.”

The arrival of eleven signings in the summer has ensured that Caixinha has plenty of competition for places this term.

Midfielder Ryan Jack has caught the eye since making the move from Aberdeen and been one of the Gers’ most consistent performers in recent weeks.

The 26-year-old also keeps Holt company on the morning commute and the former Hearts star is happy to play his part in integrating new signings into the squad.

Holt said: “I always think of myself as being that type of guy that is welcoming and whoever comes through the door I welcome them. I always do that with the new boys that come in.

“There are three or four of us that have been here longer than others, but we are all together now and there is a good team spirit.

“It has been good [to car share with Ryan]. It gives me a break from driving. I am happy with that.

“It has been good. He stays just round the corner from me so it is always good to have company in the morning going to training.

“It is obviously early in the morning so it tends to be a bit quieter. It is a bit more lively on the way home.”

It has been a frustrating campaign so far for Holt as he has struggled for first team action in recent weeks.

He came off the bench against Accies last Friday night after Jack had been red carded and helped Caixinha’s side to a crucial Premiership win.

Graham Dorrans completed the 4-1 victory from the spot after Holt had been fouled and the 24-year-old was pleased to play his part at the SuperSeal Stadium.

He said: “Daniel [Candeias] tried to play me in, but the ball was a bit over-hit. I just tried to keep chasing it though, and the defender left his pass a bit short.

“I just gambled and he pulled me back. It was good to give Dozza the opportunity to score from the spot.

“I think it shows good signs. Everyone is aware that from the outside people were saying it was a difficult week but we just had to go and do our job.

“Go down to Hamilton, get the three points and back up the road. That is what we done and I thought it was a really professional performance after not a great start.

“The character to get back into the game and go on and win the game 4-1 was great.”

Rangers return to action after the international break with a trip to McDiarmid Park to face St Johnstone on Friday night.

Holt could be in line for a start against the Saints as Jack gets set to serve a suspension after picking up two yellow cards at Hamilton.

The midfielder played for the Gers’ second string against Dumbarton earlier this term and admits it can be difficult to maintain the required levels when match minutes are hard to come by.

He told RangersTV: “It can be [a challenge]. You can do all the training you want but it never replicates the pace of a game.

“The Under-20s game was a just a case of going to get some game time and that was good.

“It is difficult. You can train all you want but nothing really prepares you for a game apart from playing constantly.”