Tuesday night represented an opportunity for some of the players who haven’t been getting regular game time to get another 90 minutes under their belt, with the manager making three changes to his starting line up for the meeting with Morecambe.
“It was good for the lads who haven’t had the game time to get on the pitch,” the gaffer said. “I would have liked to play more of the lads who haven’t played, but it’s a competition I want to do well in. I want us to be strong in the competition and try and get as far as we can.
“Adam [Campbell] would have played, but he obviously can’t feature against his parent club. It was a late decision on Jack Sowerby not being allowed to play, but you get on with it and that allowed me to play one or two others.
“I thought Regan [Slater] did really well, as did Gary Miller. Obviously young Liam [McCarron] come on at the end, and I would have liked to have put Sam [Adewusi] and Jack [Egan] on, but it was important that we won the game.
“The lads who came in did their jobs and I want everyone thinking they’re in with a chance of playing for every game. I want competition for places and I think, when we’ve got everyone fit and out there, it’s going to be very difficult for me to pick my team.
“No one is in a comfort zone, I’ve told them that I’ll play whichever team I think is going to get us a result.”
Speaking more about the appearance for youth second year Liam McCarron, who crossed the white line aged 17 years, 5 months and 28 days, he commented: “Liam is a good player, which is why I put him on the bench. We were short on numbers, so it was a good opportunity to get him involved.
“Full credit to the youth set-up, and it’ll be the same going forward. If I feel any young player is good enough, I’ll get them involved. I’ve done it at other teams and I’m not frightened to put them in.
“I was able to put him on and give him 15 minutes, and I think you could see from one or two of his touches that he looks a good player. He looks comfortable and relaxed, and he’s got some good things in his game.
“It doesn’t really bother me how old he is, and hopefully this will give him a bit of belief, as well as all the other young lads at the club. These lads only learn by playing and this will have been good experience for Liam.
“For the 15 minutes he was on you can see he’s got a little bit of arrogance about him - as a footballer, not as a lad - and I like that. He has a good touch and he makes things look easy.
“He hasn’t trained with us, because I think it’s better for him to play and train with the youth team at this moment in time. He’s got to earn the right, because he’s still a young kid, but it’s a good experience for him to be around the first team in games like Tuesday’s.”
One noticeable absentee was Hallam Hope following his call-up to the Barbados squd for their midweek international fixture.
“It’s obviously nice for Hallam to get a call up with Barbados, but we aren’t as happy about it as he will be!” he joked. “It’s good for any player to play for their country. It’s something you should be proud of and Hallam is no different.
“We’ve missed him for a game but he’s playing international football, which is massive for him. He’s playing his game on Thursday, so we’ll just have to see whether he’s available for Saturday. It will depend on when he gets back, but it’s obviously a long flight, so it will depend what shape he’s in when he lands.”
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