Lambert: Hughes and Other Youngsters Have Got a Chance But Have a Long Way to Go
Wednesday, 16th Oct 2019 16:21
Boss Paul Lambert says midfielder Tommy Hughes, who made his senior debut as a sub in the Leasing.com Trophy victory over Gillingham last week, is a terrific passer of the ball but says the 18-year-old and the other youngsters who have featured in the tournament this season are still some way off becoming League One regulars.
Academy product Hughes came off the bench in the 80th minute against the Gills and appeared to relish the step up as the Blues steamrollered Steve Evans’s side 4-0.
“He's a terrific passer of the ball but don't put any nonsense pressure on the kid, he's only a kid, and he's only been in [briefly].
“He’s a mile from it, but he's somebody I thought could make a little impact on the first team in that particular game.”
“[Armando] Dobra I saw training with us last year, and I thought he had a little bit about him.
“Same with Tommy Hughes, same with Idris [El Mizouni] and all the kids who have come up with us and done a little bit.
“I think they have got a little chance, but there's no point in asking me in this moment if they can go week in and week out because that doesn't make sense, they're not ready for that environment yet.”
He added: “They come up against guys who are playing regularly in League One, five or six [senior] players will play in that tournament.
“They come up against it. Dobra’s done great, Tommy did well but ask them to go into an environment week in, week out is hard, that’s why I’ve got to watch and protect them.”
Lambert has said he’s no fan of the Leasing.com Trophy but in addition to the youngsters getting some first-team experience, it has given the likes of Toto Nsiala a chance to get minutes under their belts as they have returned from injury.
“As I said before, we've too many games in this country and you throw another cup competition in. That’s just my personal opinion of it.
“I think there's a lot of games here which is good for the guys that are coming back from injury and younger players making a name for themselves, which I think is good on that front, but the main priority is the league.”
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