Ross Wallace believes many of Fleetwood Town’s young players have the ability to play higher – but it is up to them to fulfil their potential.
Wallace, who counts Sheffield Wednesday, Preston North End, Burnley and Sunderland among his former clubs, joined Town in September.
He admitted the squad has more talent than he expected.
He said: “There is a lot of potential; the lads like Wes (Burns), little Ash (Hunter), Demps (Kyle Dempsey) and Conor (McAleny) in there and a few others behind that.
“You can see they have the ability but it is up to them if they want it; they have got the experienced lads around if they need to ask any questions but they have got it in their own hands.
“It is up to them if they want it they can achieve it because they have got the ability.”
It is not just some of Town’s young players whom Wallace is tipping for the top but also manager Joey Barton.
He said: “I’ve been more impressed with the staff and management, the professionalism at the club, the whole set-up is up there with the top end of the Championship.
“It has been very impressive.
“It is the gaffer’s first job and he will be learning too at different points this season.
“It is important for the players to help him and help each other.
“I think the manager has been different class as to what I have seen so far, I think he will go onto bigger things.
“The manager is always speaking to the players, getting the thoughts of the players.
“He likes feedback, all the staff and players get on; we need to get the points to prove it.”
Fleetwood were beaten 3-0 at Gillingham in their last league outing before bouncing back with an FA Cup victory at Alfreton Town.
The aim now is to find consistency, starting with today’s game against Walsall.
“We are up and down at the minute in terms of form,” Wallace said.
“We’ve had a few injuries but we have lads coming back to fitness now.
“We have got good players, a good squad for this league, especially compared to others.
“It is about putting the best performance in on the pitch.
“The manager stressed a few months back the home form has to be good.
“We’ve picked up on that, starting to be a force at home and Saturday, another three points at home will keep the ball rolling.
“We got that feeling in the Blackpool game that the fans are starting to believe in us at home.”