Youngsters knocking on door at Fleetwood Town

Nick Haughton takes a tumble at Ashton Gate
Nick Haughton takes a tumble at Ashton Gate

Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander is excited to have so many young players knocking on the first-team door.

Nick Haughton made his full debut on Sunday at Bristol City, the 20-year-old joined in the side by 18-year-old Tyler Forbes.

On the bench were 19-year-old’s Max Cartwright and Jack Sowerby – signed recently from Squires Gate – with Ashley Hunter, also 19, another member of the group which travelled to the south-west.

“They’re queuing up,” joked the Fleetwood boss.

“They’re obviously not all ready to play week in, week out.

“But if we can manage them right and give them the opportunities when they arise, it shows they can progress. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Haughton’s show was the highlight of the afternoon as Fleetwood went down 2-0 to the League One leaders.

And Alexander admitted the midfielder, who signed from Runcorn Town, had caused excitement in the camp.

He said:”We were really pleased at the weekend because he played so well and created so many chances.”

“His workrate was there over 90 minutes for everyone to see. He’s fallen over on the touchline fighting for a throw in the 94th minute.

“That’s what he’s like and it can be infectious for other people.

“When I named the team there was a bit of excitement from the other players because they know what Nick’s got.

“It was a case of whether he could reproduce it on the big stage. He certainly did that.”

Haughton’s start came thanks to a late injury to Antoni Sarcevic, while Stephen Crainey’s absence with a kidney problem saw Forbes included.

With Steven Schumacher not included in the squad space opened up on the bench for Sowerby to gain his spot.

Alexander knows Haughton’s performance at Ashton Gate will give Sarcevic plenty to think about ahead of Saturday’s home clash against Peterborough United, but he hasn’t ruled out the pair playing together.

He said:”Everyone’s pleased to see Nick get his chance but Antoni Sarcevic is another exciting young player for this club.

“What you saw at the weekend was the future for this club.

“They are all going to have to compete.

“It’s good to have two good young players, and who is to say they can’t play in the same team?”