Gray explains why he hasn't played more youngsters at Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray has explained why he hasn't fielded more younger players this season.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray has explained to the Sheffield Star why he’s delayed the introduction of some younger players into his first team.

The Owls boss has said that if the younger players in the youth ranks at the club work hard and progress they will get a chance, but he’s urged caution about throwing them into the team before they are ready.

“If they (youngsters) are good enough, they will get their opportunity. The more players we can produce, the better,” he said.

“It’s getting that right game for them - The last thing we want to do is knock a player’s confidence.”

Developing a strong core of younger players is important for any club, as demonstrated by the success Leeds United have had with the younger players coming through their academy.

If Gray can get the balance right, he’ll always have options in terms of the spine of his team over the next few years.

He can then put meat on the bones, developing the rest of the side as the club looks to push on and get promoted into the Premier League next season.

Wednesday are in a good position for Gray to take some risks over the rest of the season because the team is clear of getting drawn into the scrap near the bottom, but too far away from the top six.

However, he’s spot on to suggest that it’s important to protect the confidence of younger players who sometimes struggle to cope with exposure and criticism less effectively than their experienced teammates.

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