Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton has not ruled out baptisms of fire for youngsters Ryan Rydel and Barry Baggley by handing them their first League starts at Coventry City tonight.
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Rydel, 18, and Baggley, 17, came off the bench to make their debuts in the 2-0 defeat at Walsall on Saturday.
And with Barton unhappy with the performances of a number of his senior professionals in the second half at Banks’s Stadium, he is considering more opportunities for Town’s talented young crop.
Nathan Sheron, Ged Garner and now Baggley and Rydel have come through the youth ranks to feature for Town’s first team in League One this season.
Under-18 James Hill has also played in the Carabao Cup and Barton has not ruled out more opportunities for young players.
Asked if the academy products could get starts at Coventry, Barton said: “We will have to watch the (Walsall) game back. We have certainly got that in mind.
“Why not? They certainly cannot do any worse than some of the seniors in the second half. Put the kids in.
“Usually if they get the opportunity, the kids will show you they are good enough.
“At every opportunity they have had, our kids have shown they have a desire to be footballers.
“I think some of the first team and senior players can learn a lot of lessons from them.”
With 10th-placed Town six points and four places outside the play-off zone, and also just three points from the 52 widely considered to be the safety mark, Barton is ready to experiment in the remaining games.
He wants his loan stars and others players to show their desire to be involved next term as he starts to build towards the 2019-20 campaign.
Barton revealed: “I think we are at the point now where we can start to experiment.
“For me we have got lads here who are on loan from clubs and lads who want to be here next year, so it is up to them to earn the opportunity to do that.
“The second half showing was not good enough in any form.
“That is disappointing because we have given Walsall three points.
“All they did second half was run a bit harder than us and we could not defend our box from set-plays. It is really disappointing.
“Too many of our good players had a poor half and you cannot win football matches at this level if you do not have everyone at it for 90 minutes”.