Scotland Under-21 boss Billy Stark says it is still too early to throw Islam Feruz into one of his team’s Euro 2013 qualifiers.
The promising Chelsea forward came off the bench in the 4-1 defeat to Italy at Easter Road, to become the country’s youngest Under-21 international aged 16 years and 197 days.
Feruz has received rave reviews since joining the Stamford Bridge side from Celtic, scoring two goals in the club’s 4-0 FA Youth Cup final first leg win.
However Stark sees no need to rush the player through the ranks, insisting patience is the best policy.
When asked whether Feruz would play in one of the upcoming qualifying games, Stark said: "It's too early for that.
"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."
Stark is certain Feruz can handle the hype surrounding him and said he was pleased with the teenager’s contribution on the night.
He added: "He was certainly not fazed by it. He's a confident wee boy."
Despite the scoreline Stark saw plenty of positives in his team’s display
"I'm not disheartened in any shape or form," he 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."