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Barjo hopes to impress Caixinha in Academy games

Jay Mansfield

Rangers midfielder Jamie Barjonas hopes to get back into Rangers' first-team squad before long and revealed Pedro Caixinha has told him he has faith in his ability.

Barjonas made his first-team debut at the end of last season and shone for Caixinha's side after a stellar campaign with Rangers' Under-20 side.

The 18-year-old made three substitute appearances for the senior side before being handed his first start against St. Johnstone on the final day of last season.

Barjonas admits that having players like Ryan Jack and Graham Dorrans in the squad can only help him improve and he has been told by Caixinha that, if needed in the first-team, he has his manager's trust.

“I have been round training with the first-team quite a lot but I haven’t been in a squad yet this season so my main aim is to try and get round training as much as possible and hopefully make a squad quite soon," Barjonas said, as quoted by Rangers' official website.

“The manager hasn’t spoken to me about that recently but he said at the start of the season that if there was a chance to get in due to injuries then he can trust me and can call on me – hopefully that is what happens and I can get into a squad.

“Even after he brought in new midfielders over the summer it obviously shows I am doing well in the development games to still be training round there.

“I have got two goals in our development games so far and I am just trying to play as well as I can in those games and hopefully Pedro sees that.

“Going round and training with Ryan Jack and Graham Dorrans is so helpful, you can see the way they play and the standards that they work to are so high.

"Training with them and playing alongside them is only going to make me a better player.”

Barjonas is currently with Graeme Murty's Under-20's as they prepare to face Premier League Leicester City at Ibrox tonight as part of Rangers' ongoing 'Academy Games' programme.

The Young Gers will face top English and European sides after withdrawing from the SPFL Development League and Leeds-born Barjonas is relishing the challenge, telling Rangers' website: “This programme is a lot more challenging because you are playing against international players who are playing with England, Holland etc.

“You need to adapt to not having the ball or dominating games as much as you would have in the Development League.

“It is a lot more of a challenge but we all relish it and while it is definitely harder it is better for everybody in the team."