Ross County manager John Hughes was impressed with how Celtic loanee Leo Hjelde handled playing at Ibrox against Rangers in his first game for the Dingwall side.

The 17-year-old recently joined the Premiership side on loan for the rest of the season. Hughes didn’t hesitate about giving the centre-back his debut in such a big game.

Despite County losing the game 5-0, Hughes felt that the player acquitted himself well. He feels that the player has a big future in the game.

“He’s a man”

“First and foremost there was a real concern because of the Covid issues and all that stuff that’s gone on in Scottish football. He’s not played much football. But Leo’s coming up for 18, and he’s a man” he said.

Rangers v Ross County - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Leo Hjelde in action for Ross County against Rangers (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Hughes went on to state that he has watched the 17-year-old plenty of times for Celtic’s under-23 side before making the loan move.

“He’s got a massive future in front of him, massive future. He’s really highly regarded at Celtic, and he’s a player that I’ve seen half a dozen times when I go through and watch Celtic’s under-23s.

“He loved it”

“For his progress he needs his challenge. He’s not played much football in the last 10 weeks. I think he cramped up towards the end, but he handled it. He loved it, he conducted himself very, very well. We were very, very pleased with his debut” Hughes concluded.

Rangers v Ross County - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

John Hughes was impressed with Leo Hjelde’s Ross County debut (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Hjelde could be back in action for County tonight, when they take on Motherwell in a vital Premiership clash. That game could see Hjelde come up against a former Celtic striker in Tony Watt.

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