Phil Parkinson has updated fans for this evening’s clash with Aston Villa’s youth side in the EFL Trophy group stage; this will be the first of three fixtures with games against Fleetwood Town and Carlisle United to follow. Youngsters Dan Neil, Jack Diamond, Brandon Taylor and Jake Hackett as well as new signings Morgan Feeney, Arbenit Xhemajli and Danny Graham are all expected to feature.
The boss said in his press conference earlier on that “The young players need a game, along with the lads who didn’t play (against Hull). That’s really important. I think at this stage of the season, it’s important to get everybody up to speed. We want to give the youngsters an opportunity in that game. There’ll be some senior players in there, but it’ll be an opportunity for the young players to show what they can do. We are trying this season to build an Under-23 team and have some integration between the younger players in the first-team squad and that Under-23 team, and treat it more as a reserve team. Last year, it was very difficult for the Under-23s with the quality in that team and the results they got, and I didn’t feel there were enough players in there who were ready to step up and make a claim.”