STARK WILL NOT RUSH FERUZ
Islam Feruz is set to be made to wait for his competitive debut after becoming Scotland's youngest Under-21 international.
The Chelsea forward came off the substitutes' bench aged 16 years 197 days as one of seven players to make their debut in Wednesday night's 4-1 friendly loss to Italy at Easter Road.
But Scotland Under-21 boss Billy Stark is not about to thrust Feruz into the side for the crucial European Championships qualifying clash with Bulgaria next month.
"It's too early for that," Stark said.
"This game was an opportunity. I don't think there's any doubt that if he continues to progress he'll have an international career in front of him.
"We've just got to make sure we manage it properly."
Feruz came to Glasgow from Somalia as an asylum seeker in 2001 before moving to Chelsea from Celtic last summer and his appearance saw him beat the record held by Christian Dailly.
Stark added: "He was certainly not fazed by it. He's a confident wee boy."
Stark was encouraged by the performance of his side despite the margin of defeat to an Italy side with a 100% record from their five qualifying matches.
Among the positives were a well-worked goal for Gary Mackay-Steven, cancelling out Alessandro Florenzi's opener, and a series of fine saves by first-half goalkeeper Mark Ridgers of Hearts.
However, second-half goals from Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne and Samuele Longo sealed victory for the Azzurri.
"I'm not disheartened in any shape or form," Stark added.
"Even allowing for the Italians' quality, we made some mistakes which were uncharacteristic and I don't expect us to do that in competitive games.
"It's important for the players that they're very disappointed and that's what I would expect from them because they've set a good standard.
"We fell below them tonight in terms of giving away soft goals.
"But there were plenty of positives as there always is in these games.
"That will stand us in good stead in the future, no doubt about it."
Latest Football News at 13:00 BST