Tis: “The best u21 group we’ve had”

City manager hails youngsters in the squad

The Grecians’ under-21 victory in midweek against an experienced Crystal Palace side gave further credence to the growing excitement around City’s young crop of players.

Many of the players that featured at Selhurst Park are on the fringes of the first team, but the individual and team performances were outstanding on the evening and limited the chances for an Eagles side that featured players with international and top-flight experience.

For City manager Paul Tisdale, the progress that his young players are making has given him additional options in the squad.  Often it is a case of opportunity knocking for young players – defender Pat Baldwin is the only fresh doubt for the trip to Fratton Park on Saturday, but Tis is pleased that his youngsters have given the squad additional depth to call upon when necessary.

“We’ve got four or five that are ready to play,” said Tis.  “It’s about opportunity, and not always about when they’re ready.  There are often more than 11 players every week that are ready to play.

“But what is apparent is how well that group are doing.  I think it’s the best under-21 group we’ve had.  We’ve always had one or two good young players, but there’s a large group of them.

“It bodes well for the future, and it also means I can put them in at any time if I think they’re good enough.  

“There are a whole number there that are good enough to play, and it’ll be about opportunity.”