Town put faith in rising stars

Tyler Forbes
Tyler Forbes
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Chris Lucketti insists Fleetwood Town can put their faith in products of the Highbury development squad.

Town named two youngsters, Nick Haughton and Tyler Forbes, in their squad for Saturday’s 1-0 win over Gillingham.

And with a number of first-team fringe players out on loan, the assistant manager hinted there could be plenty more matchday opportunities for those who earn a chance.

He said: “We had blows with Steven Schumacher and Jamie Proctor suspended, and David Ball has a bad injury. We’ve had some hammer blows.

“But you look at our squad, at our bench and you see we’ve got the likes of Haughton and Forbes on there. They’re from our development squad and both of them have impressed us immensely.

“They’ve deserved the chance to be on the bench. It shows we’re looking at lads 18 and 19 years old and trying to develop them.

“Tyler and Nick certainly fit that bill and hopefully people will see a lot more from them.”

Jamie Allen, Matty Hughes, Stewart Murdoch and 
Liam Hogan have all been loaned out to other clubs in recent weeks.

And Lucketti insists such decisions would never have been made unless there was confidence in Town’s young starlets to cover.

He said: “It’s good to know we have got quality underneath in the development squad. That’s what’s allowed us to send lads who need experience, need game-time, out on loan.

“We’ve got the confidence to be able to call on those coming through the development ranks.

“It’s important in their development, being around the first team boys, seeing what it’s like on a matchday and being prepared, so they are raring to go if they are called upon.”

At the other end of the spectrum Town gave a full debut to Keith Southern in Saturday’s victory over Gillingham.

He now faces a battle with Steven Schumacher, who returns from suspension for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Cambridge, for the crucial holding midfield role.

Lucketti welcomed the competition and the long-overdue arrival of Southern in the Fleetwood first team.

He said:”I’m sure Keith will have been feeling the effects when he woke up.

“But we all know about him.

“He’s a top pro, a top bloke.

“He’s great to have around the club.

“For the younger players to be able to look at someone like that, how they look after themselves and everything.

“He’s been a pleasure to have around but it’s been frustrating for us and for him while he’s been out.

“Now we’ve seen what he’s capable of and we’re hopeful of more to come.”