GARY MCALLISTER has praised Rangers kids Robby McCrorie and Stephen Kelly after they made the most of their chance to impress against Partick Thistle.

The champions got their summer schedule off to a winning start as Cedric Itten netted the only goal of the game to clinch a 1-0 victory at Firhill.

Keeper McCrorie was the only player to get a full 90 minutes under his belt as boss Steven Gerrard set up with a different outfield line-up in either half against Ian McCall's side.

Kelly caught the eye alongside Steven Davis and assistant manager McAllister is encouraged by the development of two of his Auchenhowie kids.

He told RangersTV: "Stephen has progressed really well. He has had a couple of good loans and went out and impressed with every team that he has gone to.

"I think he warranted that tonight in amongst some senior players and top international footballers. He was very competent.

"When you look at Robby now, he really has matured. I have noticed that around the training ground.

"He has become more of a man, taking more responsibility and ownership of his back four.

"He had a great save from the big lad [Brian] Graham to tip it over the bar and he had a good night."