Wes Foderingham says he had no doubt Rangers youngsters Nathan Patterson and Kai Kennedy could cut it in the senior team after watching them outshine Steven Gerrard’s stars in training.
Right-back Patterson, 18, was given his competitive debut as he started Friday night’s William Hill Scottish Cup win over Stranraer.
Seventeen-year-old forward Kennedy was also given his first taste of senior football as he was introduced off the bench as Rangers marched into the fifth round with a 2-0 victory.
Both teenagers took their opportunities with impressive displays but goalkeeper Foderingham was not surprised to see them giving a glimpse of their potential.
He told RangersTV: “Nathan has done really well, he performed really well in Dubai and in training he has looked very strong, so I think he deserved his chance tonight.
“He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and was superb up and down the line and crossing into the box. I think the club will be really excited with Nathan.
“Kai has been training with us a little bit longer and in some of the sessions he has been the best player. He is very consistent and a very difficult player to play against.
“I was pleased for him to get on the pitch as well and hopefully we can see more of him.”
Rangers booked their place in Sunday’s draw for the next round thanks to goals from Scott Arfield and Jermain Defoe but it was hardly a sparkling display against a side rooted to the bottom of Ladbrokes League One.
Gerrard admitted after the win he was left bored by his team’s display at times and Foderingham confessed Rangers were off the pace on their return from the winter shut-down.
“We got the job done, I think we probably could have performed better and got a few more goals,” said Allan McGregor’s understudy.
“I think our finishing was sloppy at times but ultimately we got the result we needed to progress into the next round.
“It is difficult to concede when you have no shots at you but I think we have defended really well.
“I have been involved in a few of those games now where you have a quiet evening but there is always going to be that opportunity where boys switch off and you need to be called on.
“There were a couple of crosses which I dealt with fine and it was one of those evenings where you just have to stay focused and concentrated.
“There are large parts of the game where you have nothing to do and there might be that split moment where you are called into action and you need to be ready.
“You just have to stay on your toes and when you do have the ball be positive with it and try to do things quickly, that is what I did today.”