Greg Docherty has warned Jake Hastie he will have to develop a thick skin if he is to make the cut at Rangers next season.
The Motherwell youngster will join up with Steven Gerrard’s squad next season having agreed a four-year deal at Ibrox.
The 20-year-old spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Alloa but earned his Rangers switch with a string of stunning displays after returning to Fir Park in January.
Hastie was even nominated for PFA Scotland’s young player of the year award despite starting just 12 games for Stephen Robinson’s team.
But midfielder Docherty has warned his new team-mate he will have to perform at close to his best for much longer if he is to win over the Ibrox faithful.
Docherty knows how hard it is to make the step up while coping with the pressure of playing in front of 50,000 fans each week.
The former Hamilton midfielder struggled to find the required consistency after clinching a £675,000 move 18 months ago and was forced to head out on loan last summer to find regular action at Shrewsbury.
Now he has offered Hastie some words of advice, cautioning the winger he will need to get used to the flak if he is to succeed under Gerrard.
“It’s great that Jake has got his move,” Docherty told Press Association Sport. “It’s a massive opportunity for him.
“It might take him time to adapt as Rangers is such a big club. When I made my move from Accies, the thing that I had to get used to was making sure I got that consistency of performance.
“The club requires that you perform as close to maximum as you can at all times.
“The competition is so fierce that if you don’t manage that, you’ll lose your jersey.
“I thought that was a good thing. It pushed me on and kept me on my toes. I never finished a game thinking, ‘OK, I’ll be starting next week’.
“That’s why when I found out I might not play much this season I wanted to go out on loan and get regular action because I wanted to make sure I could find that level of consistency you need when playing for Rangers.
“Being mentally strong is massively important. It can be tough when things don’t go your way but it’s about how you react.
“There will be a lot more opinions voiced about Jake than he will have been used to at Motherwell. I used to read all the stuff in the papers about me when I was at Hamilton but I learned not to after making my move because you can’t afford to let what’s said affect you.
“You have to develop a thick skin when you play for a club like Rangers.”
Hastie’s Well team-mate David Turnbull has been another to make his mark for the Steelmen this season, with Derby and Cardiff the latest English sides credited with an interest in the playmaker.
But Docherty is delighted to see Rangers steal a march on their southern rivals to tie up Hastie’s signature.
He said: “’Jakes’ has made a meteoric rise having been at Alloa just a few months ago but deserves his move with the goals he’s scored.
“It’s also nice to see that Rangers are still operating in the Scottish market for players that they can bring in and develop.
“The manager has shown already he’s willing to put his faith in guys playing in the league with the signing of Jordan Jones and Glen Kamara.
“These kinds of guys will have a part to prove moving to a bigger club and hoping to be part of something successful.
“Having played down south these last few months, I know a lot of people in England don’t bat an eyelid at our game. But I was always trying to tell them how good the standard actually is.
“It’s a bit bizarre the number of folk in England that don’t take notice of the talent up here but if we can take advantage of that then it will only benefit Rangers and the Scottish game.”
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