LIAM Burt has netted three goals in under a week for the Rangers Under 20s and his coach Graeme Murty says it is down to a chat academy bosses had with the player six weeks ago.
The Head of the Development Squad admitted he has seen a huge change in the midfielder, who had been named as Mark Warburton’s 19th man in the past few weeks, since the conversation over his future.
While Murty doesn’t want to tag either Burt or hot academy prospect Billy Gilmour as future first-team stars just yet he says they are showing huge potential.
The former Scotland international said: “I don’t like to label people’s prospects but we had a sit down with Liam a month and a half ago, me, Craig Mulholland and Liam’s parents at Ibrox to talk through Liam and his future.
“What we talked about will remain private but since then we have seen a marked upturn in Liam’s output, in his training, in his games, in his mentality and he appears much more focussed.
“We talked about his ability to go past people and he is utilising that in a much more positive way and he is using that to be disruptive and get into real good goal scoring and creative opportunities.
“He has now realised the opportunity which is in front of him to go on and impress not only myself and Craig and the 20s staff but also the first-team staff who come to our games and give us good feedback.”
While Burt shines Gilmour made his first start for the Under 20 side against Dundee on Wednesday night.
The 15-year-old was playing against first-teamers and Murty admits the academy staff must be careful in how they manage the youngsters progress up the age groups.
He said: “Billy made his first start on Wednesday night and Jack Thompson came back after being out injured for a long time.
“So in midfield we had an under 16 and an under 17 playing against first-team players.
“Billy is incredibly diligent and focussed but despite him being small you very seldom see him getting caught in possession because his awareness is good and he plays the game at a really good tempo.
“The tempo of his play and his release are far better than his physicality at the moment so when he matures and he becomes physically adept athlete and you manage all those attributes together he has a hell of an opportunity to progress through to the first-team.
“What you will see with Billy is that we will drop him in and out as his body and his needs dictate.
“I won’t put him in because I want to win the game, I will drop him in as and when we see fit to make sure it in the right thing for him.
“We managed his minutes really well on Wednesday and when he was starting to look a bit fatigued we decided it was the right time to take him off.”