GARY MCALLISTER has praised the Rangers squad for putting in the hours this season – by even turning up for work on their days off.

The Light Blues were given a rest by boss Steven Gerrard on Monday after three games last week that saw them beat Dundee and St Johnstone in the Premiership and earn a draw with La Liga giants Villarreal in the Europa League.

But the Ibrox squad still reported for duty at the Hummel Training Centre as they prepare for the Betfred Cup clash with Ayr United this evening.

It has been a hectic few weeks for Gerrard’s side as they have progressed through four European qualifiers and made a solid start to the domestic campaign.

And assistant manager McAllister is delighted with the application the new-look Gers squad have shown as they have hit the ground running this term.

McAllister said: “We’re finding that. There’s been a lot of changes at the training ground with the first team dressing room revamped and the eating area raised loads of levels.

“You want to create an environment where players want to come, even on their day off.

“They come here and get probably the nicest food in Glasgow and that’s not being disrespectful to the restaurants in the city!

“They can come and have a coffee and a chat and there’s always people here. There’s physios, masseurs and it’s about creating that environment where they want to spend time here rather than come in early, train and then go home.

“It says a lot about the players determination to succeed that they are willing to sacrifice days off but also to all the staff who providing the right sort of information for players who just want to be sponges.

“We all want to get better at every level at this club. I’ve been at clubs where a day off people have no intentions of going near the place until they’re asked to go back in.

“When you’ve got a group of players showing that sort of dedication and willingness to get better it’s got to be good.

“The majority of them came in - what else can they do! We’re dictated quite a lot by sports science which is such a big thing in the modern game and as a result of that we’re having to pull them off the training ground at times.

“We’ve got a lot of games, they keep coming thick and fast but that’s why we went through four qualifying rounds of the Europa League to play against the likes of Villarreal and we’ve got Rapid Vienna coming up soon.

“We need the squad because we’re playing games, recovering, playing games. The guys have been brilliant, the players have been amazing.”