Scotland Under-21 duty 'is respite' for Rangers trio - Billy Stark

Wylde is one of many Rangers players fearing for their futures at Ibrox
Wylde is one of many Rangers players fearing for their futures at Ibrox

Scotland Under-21 manager Billy Stark hopes Wednesday's European qualifier against the Netherlands will be a boost to the Rangers players in his squad.

Winger Gregg Wylde and defenders Darren Cole, who is on loan at Partick Thistle, and Ross Perry have joined up with Stark's party.

But Rangers' administrators are poised to announce possible job cuts at Ibrox.

"I think it does give them a wee respite away from the environment at Rangers at the moment," said Stark.

Perry played from the start in Sunday's 4-1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle, while Wylde was a substitute.

The Scotland Under-21 coach praised the work being done under the circumstances by Rangers manager Ally McCoist.

Perry and Russell appeared to be in good spirits during training
Perry and Russell appeared to be in good spirits during training

"There is not a lot I can add," said Stark. "Ally is doing that superbly well.

"He is speaking to them as individuals and a group and squeezing the very best out of them.

"You're hoping that, when they come with us, it's a wee bit of freshness about them and they can hopefully concentrate on our objectives on Wednesday night and we can get the best out of them."

Rangers director of football Gordon Smith and chief operating officer Ali Russell were both told last week that they would be losing their jobs.

And, although the administrators have given no clear indication of when any other decisions will be made, an announcement could be made before Stark's side kick off at St Mirren Park.

"I know it's an ongoing situation at the club," he said. "And who knows what sort of decisions can be made before our game?.

"I don't think there is any merit in figuring out what you would do if this or that happens.

"The Rangers boys are part of our group and I'm sure the rest of the group will help the Rangers boys as well.

"Looking at them and trying to measure their mood, they got a great lift from the result yesterday. To me, they look fine. And I hope it stays that way."

Stark called up Inverness full-back Graeme Shinnie after Celtic's Lewis Toshney pulled out with the groin injury that forced him out of loan club Kilmarnock's weekend defeat by Hibernian.

Strikers Johnny Russell and Jordan Rhodes are undergoing treatment ahead of the game as Scotland look to repeat their away win against the group leaders.

Prolific Huddersfield striker Rhodes, who has scored six goals in as many U21 internationals, sat out training on Monday morning with a dead leg, while Dundee United striker Russell has the same problem.

"We've got a couple of (maybe concerns is too strong a word) dead legs in Jordan Rhodes and Johnny Russell," added Stark.

"Johnny managed to train this morning. Jordan is not quite there in terms of being able to train yet, but hopefully he'll be okay."

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