GRAEME MURTY has revealed youngster Billy Gilmour came extremely close to making his squad for yesterday’s Scottish Cup clash with Hamilton at Ibrox.

15 year-old Gilmour has been a standout for both the Rangers under-20s and the Scotland international squad for his age group in recent weeks, and he was invited to take a full part in the warm-up ahead of the terrific 6-0 victory that sees Gers through to the semi-finals.

Speaking to RangersTV.tv, caretaker boss Murty explained: “Billy was really, really close to being in the squad. He has played really well for the 20s, and he has been away with Scotland this week and played three games this week.

“If I didn’t have as many concerns this week about people getting through the game injury-wise and making sure they were physically OK, he potentially would have been on the bench. I thought it was really important to integrate him in the squad because he is close.

“We want to get him up and to experience as much of the first-team environment as he can to see if he can handle it and to see if that is something he wants to do going forward. He has done really well for me when he has played for the 20s, so the next logical step is the first-team, and it’s just a question of as and when we can dip him in that’s appropriate to him.

“But, it was really close and a hard decision for us to make. But, I wanted him to get on the pitch and experience the atmosphere.”

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