First-Teamers Travel To Berwick


EIGHT first-team players will travel to Berwick Rangers with the Development Squad this evening.

The Light Blues are providing the opposition in Steven Notman’s testimonial at Shielfield Park and Liam Kelly, Lee Hodson, David Bates, Fabio Cardoso, Carlos Pena, Aaron Nemane, Eduardo Herrera and Dalcio will all be in the squad.

It comes off the back of last week’s friendly against Manchester United’s Under 23s which Graeme Murty used to give players like Bruno Alves game time. Nemane and Herrera bagged a goal each in the 2-2 behind closed doors draw.

Speaking to RangersTV Murty explained: “I got minutes for players who need game time against Man United, I need to see these players in games and they also need to play in games.

“I was a big believer as a player that I needed matches to be sharp, you could train as much as you wanted but I believed I was better as soon as I played a game.

“There will be players going to Berwick this week, JJ and I will go down to that as well.

“They need minutes, they need to be ready and if at any time we need to call upon one of these players who haven’t started a game I need to know they are physically in condition and their touch is right.

“I need to know they are in the right mode tactically and that they are playing the football I like.

“It is no good coming in and changing certain things for the first-team and then having guys who have never practised that methodology and expecting them to do it and judging them on it because that isn’t fair.

“There will be people going to Berwick and not us punishment because I think sometimes footballers see it that way. It’s as an opportunity to go and get sharp, get fit and actually give me a problem.”

Fabio Cardoso could return from injury in the borders, the centre-back has been missing since breaking his nose in the League Cup semi-final.

Meanwhile Graham Dorrans looks unlikely to be involved this weekend. The midfielder picked up an ankle injury against Kilmarnock last month.

Murty continued: “Fabio trained on Monday and Tuesday and got into the whole session which is good after his nose operation.

“Dozza is going to see a specialist about his ankle this week and Jordan Rossiter is progressing well.

“Lee Wallace was out on the pitch over the weekend when other people had time off. He is back on the grass this week and doing some high speed stuff and it is really good to see where he is.

“We are being quite patient and quite cautious with him because we don’t want to push it too soon.”

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