Falkirk co-manager Lee Miller has praised young defender Kyle McClelland as Southampton take note of his Bairns progress.

The Northern Irish youth international has impressed since arriving on loan from Rangers last month. Southampton are now believed to be monitoring his progress, Bairns goalkeeper Robbie Mutch watched by the Premier League club last year. Miller is pleased with what he’s witnessed from McClelland so far.

Southampton manager Ralph Hassenhuttl

Southampton are interested in the young defender. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

Falkirk’s co-boss said: “Big Kyle has done really well for us. In the games he’s played he’s shown a good attitude and in training and about the place. It’s part of his development being in and around the first-team and a team that is going for a league. It’s not easy to come into as good as squad as we’ve got but he’s done really well.

“He’s been focused and determined and probably feels that he could’ve got more minutes. I can understand that and can understand where he’s coming from but I’d say he’s got a good future. A lot to learn but he’s got a good future – as long as it doesn’t go to his head.”

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Miller also reckons that playing alongside some of the experienced members of the Falkirk dressing room will be valuable for young players like McClelland: “It’s vital for their development because not everyone gets this opportunity. We keep telling the boys that this is part of their ‘growing up’ and being in men’s football.

Holland U17 v Northern Ireland U17

McClelland will benefit from senior Falkirk involvement. (Photo by Cees van Hoogdalem/Soccrates/Getty Images)

“Rubbing shoulders with Gary Miller’s and Mark Durnan’s and the guys like that who have been on the flipside of it and been a young player coming through and being involved in successful sides.

“Part of their development is being left out and how they cope with that with their attitude, how they apply themselves – do they just sack it off or do they show that desire and hunger to do better in training and kick on and get more game-time.

“It’s difficult, we all scream about mental health and how people cope with things so it is so important for us to tap into that as well and encourage these boys to look after themselves. We’ve got a really, really good group in there. A really honest bunch of lads that are willing to help each other in that development side of things.” 

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