Derby County under-21 coach Lee Glover has explained where he feels his youngsters can be happy with their progress.
Derby sit third in the second division of the under-21 Premier League with only Reading and Middlesbrough ahead of the Rams in the table.
“As it stands we are one of the top scorers in the division, we have conceded the least, but when we look at the progress they have made, they can all go away happy with what they have done,” said Glover.
“The standard has now been set by the group. We are looking at them now to see if they can maintain that or push on.”
Derby’s under-21s have conceded 16 goals fewer than Newcastle in the same division and four goals fewer than Arsenal while also having scored eight more goals than the Gunners this year.
It gives the youngsters confidence and is a sign of strength over the current state of the youth system at the club.
Whether first team manager Steve McClaren nurses more youngsters into his first team for next season remains to be seen, but it will be difficult for him considering the pressure the club will be under.
However, he would be naïve not to look at utilising an area of the club, which has been successful this year against supposedly bigger and more established youth teams.
Glover’s main challenge is to make sure the younger players are ready for that moment when they are called up to ensure there is no blip as the senior side looks for promotion into the Premier League over 2015/2016.