The young guns saw off St Johnstone in the first round at Ibrox last month but with the top team squad a little short through injuries and suspensions for the visit of Montrose, Kirkwood may lose some of his squad.
Of course players like Lewis Macleod, Barrie McKay and Robbie Crawford would have been first picks for this cup tie, but they are first team players now.
Kamil Wiktorski also falls into this category while Toronto teenager Fraser Aird was on the bench against Queen of the South last Tuesday and could keep his place in Ally McCoist’s plans.
Kirkwood said: “We are not making excuses and we are delighted when so many young players are promoted because that’s what our job is all about.
“However, it does mean that we will probably be short of a few players who would be in the team.
“The first team is the priority and I think we are all feeling for the manager because Rangers should have been through in the Ramsdens Cup last Tuesday night but for an offside goal deep in injury time.
“In saying that, I still feel we will be able to put a team out capable of winning the game against Dumbarton.
“We have a good idea of the team they will put out because we have seen their first team, reserve team and 17s.
“They have a few lads with first team experience and they might be generally older than our lads but that’s good experience for us and something we relish.
“It was a similar situation in the last round against St Johnstone and we won that game well.
“So overall we are hopeful we can do well on Sunday and get into the next round.”
Kick-off on Sunday is 1pm.