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Jason Holt has high hopes for Rangers youngsters

By Andy Newport

Jason Holt believes his young Rangers colleagues are having to grow up fast under the pressure of the Scottish Championship title race, but the midfielder feels the stresses and strains of trying to beat Hibernian to the second-tier flag will only help Mark Warburton's fresh-faced recruits mature.

The Englishman has shaved seven years off the average age of the Ibrox squad since taking over in the summer, but that means the likes of 18-year-old Gedion Zelalem, Nathan Oduwa - only a year older - and 20-year-olds Dominic Ball and Barrie McKay are having to shoulder some serious responsibility while they also find their feet at first-team level.

Former Hearts youth product Holt - who at 22 is among Gers' senior players - said: "There are a few boys that are still really young, but we are in it together as a squad and we will be looking to help each other out as much as we can. There is a lot of pressure, but it can only help the young players that they are getting this experience so young in terms of helping them to grow up quicker."

Warburton's Championship leaders kick-off a crucial nine-day period today as they travel to Falkirk.

The third-placed Bairns will provide stiff opposition for Gers ahead of their top-of-the-table duel with Hibs on December 28.

Holt said: "The standards we set every week are so high that we want to win every game and when we don't it is really disappointing, but we'll focus on ourselves and this weekend is no different.

"We won't change how we play. Teams will try to make it difficult for us but it's up to us to break them down."

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