Boss Urges Patience

Glenn Roeder says he will not be throwing the youngsters in at the deep end in the final four games of the season.

Despite the threat of relegation having subsided, and European qualification impossible, Glenn still wants to finish in the highest spot achievable, seventh.

Of the youngsters, he says:

"Over the last few years we have done well in that department; at the moment we haven't got too many, and we'd like to have more.

"Grant McCann is finished for the season now and won't be fit until preseason training on 4th July. "Richard Garcia is around the squad in any case, and getting good experience all the time, and thereafter you are looking at the real young players like Glen Johnson, who are not quite there yet to figure in our plans."

Glen, like Anton Ferdinand and Izzie Iriekpen, was included in the squad for Spurs in order to get an experience of what it is like around the first team, set up and he adds:

"Glen has spent the last six months having days where he trains with the first team, as I like to bring the young players into training sessions when it is possible to give them a feel of what it is like training with the seniors - so when we do bring them over on a permanent basis they fear nothing.

"It is not just Glen; we've have had Anton Ferdinand over on a few occasions, and it is very good to be able to introduce some of the first years during the season into first team training, just to give them a taste.

"Hopefully that will give them the motivation to want more of that when they go back with their respective squads to train on a day to day basis.

"It is such a hard level to expect 17, 18, or 19 year olds to attain without gaining experience at a slightly lower senior level.

"I don't think people realise how high this level is; the Rio Ferdinands, the Frank Lampards, the Joe Coles, Michael Carricks, Jermain Defoes - thse are exceptional young players to be in and about the first team at such a young age.

"For most young players you couldn't expect them to be ready for Premiership football until 20 or 21.

"I am a great believer that patience will pay off in the long run and, although we bring them into first team training just to get a feel of things, we don't bring them in on such a regular basis where we put them under pressure."