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Alex MacDonald: Rangers' younger players are still adapting to the pressures of playing for the club

Rangers great Alex MacDonald believes that some of the Ibrox side's younger players may still be adapting to the pressures of playing for the club.

Murray Park graduates such as Lewis MacLeod, Fraser Aird and Calum Gallagher have featured prominently in Ally McCoist's side this season.

MacDonald made his debut for the Light Blues at a young age after being signed from St Johnstone in 1968 and feels some people underestimate the strain of playing for such a big club.

Speaking at Rangers' season-tickets renewal launch, MacDonald said: "I feel for the young kids. I came here as a 20-year-old and I only came from along the road but it took me two years to handle the pressure here.

"Some of these kids are in and out so they're not getting a chance. It's hard.

"It's very difficult when you put that blue jersey on because you wear it the whole year, and your whole life.

"Away back in the days, your granny would say, 'Why did you get beat?'. The petrol attendant, the postman, the milkman, everybody wants to talk to you.

"But you have got to rise above that because once a Ranger, always a Ranger. It's hard, even now you have got to behave yourself."

Following Sunday's Ramsdens Cup final loss to Raith Rovers, Rangers boss Ally McCoist has come under increased pressure.

Although the side remain undefeated in the league, McCoist's men crashed out of the League Cup at the first hurdle to Forfar and needed a replay against Albion Rovers to set up Saturday's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United.

The loss at Easter Road on Sunday, combined with some fans' dismay at recent performances, has led to calls for a change of manager at Ibrox but MacDonald believes the club have the perfect man for the job.

The 66-year-old, part of the team that won the 1972 European Cup Winners' Cup, said: "We're under pressure just now. I think the outcome on the park is what we're looking for and unfortunately it didn't happen (against Raith Rovers).

"In a lot of the games the teams are really just defending.

"I think Ally will cope really well. As a manager you always get the stick. Everything is pointed at the manager but I think he can handle it very well. If anybody can do it, it's certainly him."

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