MARK WARBURTON gave youngster Liam Burt his debut against Raith Rovers last night and said that his youngsters are not just there to make up the numbers.

Burt captained the Scotland under-17s and scored last week and last night the 17 year old was a second half substitute for Andy Halliday to make his professional debut in front of 40,000 Gers fans in Ibrox as the Light Blues looked to increase the lead at the top of the Championship.

Warburton spoke recently about wanting to get his academy players more experience, with there now being nine players out on loan at different sides across Scotland and further afield. However, closer to home, the Gers boss decided to give Burt his first taste of first team action.

Speaking after the game last night, he reiterated that it’s important for every player to see a pathway to his starting eleven. He said: “Young Liam Burt got on against Raith Rovers, he has been doing really well for the under-17s and under-20s.

“Hopefully the message goes out that if you do well in the academy, you’ll get your chance.

“We had young Jack Thomson with us too who has just turned sixteen along with Scott Roberts who has impressed Kenny Miller with the under-20s and he’s caught his eye time and time again, which is relayed back to us

“We trust Kenny’s judgement and also Craig (Mulholland) and his staff. It’s good for young players like Liam and Scott to be around us to see what we do, how we do it and that they have a role to play.

“They are not there to make up numbers, they are there to make contributions and are there to be act if called upon. I have no doubt that they are good enough to make the right impression.”

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