By: Laura Brannan on 24 Oct, 2011 16:31
CELTIC’S Development Squad drew 0-0 with a strong and experienced Rangers side this afternoon, (Monday), at Lennoxtown Training Centre.
The young Hoops team consisted of eight players from the Under-19s, Thomas Rogne, a trialist and Dominic Cervi in goals, while Rangers fielded several first-team players including Neil Alexander, Kirk Broadfoot and Juan Ortiz.
Celtic dominated proceedings and were unfortunate not to find a winner, especially late in the second-half when captain, Marcus Fraser, cracked the ball off the post.
But despite being unable to break the deadlock, the home side were strong in defence and Rangers found it difficult to create many chances.
Coach, Stevie Frail was delighted with the result. “I’m really pleased” he exclusively told the official website. “Rangers fielded a really experienced team with guys like Healy, Alexander, Broadfoot, Fleck, Ortiz and McKay.
“We had nine Under-19s starting the game. It was virtually the team that played against Manchester City last week.
“The only changes were Dominic Cervi who replaced Robbie Thomson, and a trialist who came in for the injured Filip Twardzik. So we were really pleased with the level of performance and the way in which they played.”
He believes a lot of the confidence being showed right now is down to a number of reasons, but mainly from their 4-2 victory in the NextGen Series and the recognition the players have been getting for it at the top level.
“There’s a lot of confidence in the squad” he said. “Five of them travelled to Rennes for last week’s game and two of them got on to the bench.
“Dylan McGeouch was on the bench on Sunday too against Aberdeen so they’re getting a lot of confidence from that as well.”
And based on this afternoon, and the previous NextGen games, Frail expects the players to take a lot from these experiences.
“Marcus hit the post and Tony had a chance where he chose to pass instead of take the shot. I think we would have deserved the win if we’d got it” he continued.
“But these games are all about development and their level of performance against top, top players.
“They will take a lot from this afternoon, and it goes on top of not just the Manchester City game but the Marseille and Barcelona games too, even though we lost those.
“They know the level of performance expected of them and they need to keep showing that because there is still another step-up from that level and the first-team.
“Hopefully they can impress the manager enough, and he feels secure enough to put them into his team.”
CELTIC: Cervi; Miller, Fraser, Rogne (Chalmers), Trialist (P. Twardzik); Herron, Irvine, McGeouch, McGregor, George, Watt