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Adkins: We'll protect youngsters

21 August 2014

Boss pledges to manage squad

Manager Nigel Adkins has pledged to look after our young players in the best possible manner.

With a relentless fixture list of seven games in 22 days, our youngsters have gone straight in at the deep end, and we have already used a record number of Academy debutants this season after just four matches.

Adkins said, "Everyone is going to be united and we have to look after everyone.

"The Championship is challenging, we've another three games in eight days, it's physical demanding and mentally draining. So we've got to utilise the squad of players we've got, in a manner that allows the players to be at the top of their game.

"We've got a team that desperately want to do well and we'll quickly learn the lessons from Tuesday. We've got to show grit and character to keep improving.

"I thought Kuhly came on and did ever so well, Craig Tanner too, Coxy got his first goal and I was pleased to get Jamie Mackie on the pitch for the first time. I kept the same team from Saturday, could I have made a couple of changes, maybe from a physical point of view? We've played a lot of games and we weren't able to make changes in the cup like a lot of teams, that's the reality of it.

"We've said all the way through, firstly we've got a pathway for youngsters, and secondly when all the players are fit it makes us a lot stronger for the demands of the Championship. None of them will be available for the weekend, maybe Guthrie is the only one who'll be back before the international break. And obviously Mackie can't play against Forest.

"With the games thick and fast it's great experience for everybody. We've shown great character in games this season and will need to do it again.

"In terms of expectation, we said it from the start, we've got to enjoy the season. Some of the young players were outstanding on Saturday but then maybe didn't reach the level on Tuesday, that's what happens with young players. We've got to look after them."

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