Ex-Preston North End youth player Tyler Forbes is set to be thrown in at the deep end when Fleetwood Town face his former club tomorrow.
The big question of the week at Highbury has been who will deputise for right-back Conor McLaughlin, who is on international duty with Northern Ireland.
Town boss Graham Alexander rarely shows his cards ahead of kick-off but revealed to The Gazette that Forbes, released by North End last season, will start in the 2.15pm kick-off.
Alexander worked with Forbes when we was in charge of the Deepdale youth system and believes the 19-year-old is more than ready for the Sky TV clash.
“Tyler’s the man. I think I can give that away,” he said.
“When he’s come in for a couple of games, he’s handled them exceptionally well. He’s a determined young man, who wants to do well for his team.
“We’ve got no qualms – he’ll do the job that’s expected of him on Sunday.”
And Alexander believes the promotion-chasing Lilywhites’ loss is Town’s gain. “If they’d had a development squad like we now have, they would have given him something (a contract),” he added.
“There are always players who leave clubs and find somewhere else.
“That doesn’t mean the first decision was wrong. It just means they weren’t suited to that club or there was somebody better in the set-up.
“Tyler came here on trial and we gave him the opportunity.”