JONATAN JOHANSSON was pleased to see a number of Rangers fringe stars get some much-needed match minutes under their belt against Manchester United.

The Red Devils’ Under-23 side made the trip to Auchenhowie on Thursday afternoon for a behind closed doors clash.

Johansson handed starts to the likes of Bruno Alves, Carlos Pena and Niko Kranjcar, while Under-20 players Myles Beerman, Andy Dallas and Cammy Palmer also featured.

Goals from Eduardo Herrera and Aaron Nemane helped the Light Blues secure a 2-2 draw against the United kids.

And Gers coach Johansson reckons it was a worthwhile exercise for everyone involved as attentions turn to the Premiership clash with Hamilton next weekend.

“I’m very pleased,” he told RangersTV. “The starting first-team players all needed minutes and all needed games, and some of them, like David Bates who is coming back from injury, have been away for a long time.

“He needed 90 minutes and we were hoping most players from the first team would get the 90 minutes – the likes of Aaron, Dalcio and Eduardo, and also Niko and Carlos in midfield.

“Being an international week, we had the opportunity to arrange this game, and really get them some match fitness.

“I’m very pleased and I think their attitude was good from the start. I think they knew they needed to work hard and needed a game, and you could see that shining through.

“I think they lifted the young players as well and they were really encouraging with the young players coming in, so it was a good workout and I think we kept the ball for most of the game and there were some really good passing movements and good intentions on the pitch, so overall we were pleased.

“Results-wise it doesn’t really matter, but it was disappointing to lose a goal with the last kick of the game, but other than that, I think everyone did well and Bruno came off at half-time and is back to fitness now.”