MAURO LUSTRINELLI saw Cedric Itten salvage his career and make a name for himself for club and country at youth level.

Now the Switzerland Under-21 boss has backed the striker to go from strength to strength with Rangers as he bids to continue his rise and rise in the game.

Itten suffered a serious knee injury two years ago but put in the hard graft on the road to recovery before firmly establishing himself with St Gallen.

His exploits in his homeland convinced Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard to add him to his Rangers attack this term and Itten has made a solid start to his Light Blues career.

The 23-year-old has earned further international recognition with Vladimir Petković's side in recent days and youth chief Lustrinelli is sure the striker has a bright future ahead of him in the game.

Lustrinelli told Herald and Times Sport: “Cedric Itten is a player with an incredible physical strength and a great mentality.

“It was not easy to come back to this level after such an injury. Cedric proved to have a great mentality and personality.

“He worked a lot and never gave up. He finally found back to his strength.

“Cedric is very quiet and intelligent. But on the pitch he changes completely: he fights for every ball, giving everything for the team.

“He’s always listening to the advices you give him as a coach, trying to implement them on the pitch.

“He has an important role in the team. He works always a lot and he places himself at the disposal of the team. You know as a coach that you can count on him.

“I think he can adapt quite good to the Scottish Premiership despite his young age. He has exactly the characteristics that allows him to do so. He’s a worker, he puts passion and he wants still to improve.

“I’m sure that the change in the Premiership, and the chance to play in a team like Glasgow Rangers, will help him to improve even more.”