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We Won't Rush The Kids

2 September 2014

Alex boss won't throw youngsters in to start until they are ready

Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis says he will continue to resist the temptation of playing emerging youngsters such as Callum Saunders, James Baillie, James Jones and winger George Cooper to protect them from the physical demands of League One football.

The Alex boss has already handed senior debuts to Saunders and full-back James Baillie but he admits he will continue to introduce them sparingly at this stage of their development. Welsh striker Saunders, 18, was handed the last 19 minutes of our league meeting with Gillingham on Saturday in what was only his second appearance for the club.

Steve told the club’s official web-site: “I thought it was the right time to give Callum some game time. We were trailing 2-0 and there was not a great level of expectation on him. If it was still 0-0 and the games was evenly poised then that would make it different.

“As a young player it was just a great experience to get on the pitch. Callum and George have been in the squad in recent weeks and they have just been dying to get out on the pitch. That is brilliant. That is what you want.

“He knew that Callum isn’t ready physically. It is the same with a few of the younger ones but he can still cause problems with his movement.

“It is a massive step up for all of them especially as they are making that step from the Under-18s into the first team. They have the ability that is unquestionable. It is just that they need to develop physically.

The boss explained: “We will be careful with all of them and use them sparingly at the moment because we don’t want them getting hurt.”

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