Last Updated: Sun, 08 Apr 2012 13:23
Alex McLeish believes the crop of youngsters coming through Aston Villa's ranks means there is plenty to look forward to in the future.
The Scot used six players aged 23 or under for Saturday's 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield, in which Chris Herd's 10th-minute goal was cancelled out by a late Luis Suarez strike.
Herd and Eric Lichaj, both 23, Barry Bannan, 22, and Nathan Baker, 20, all started while Andreas Weimann, 20, Gary Gardner and Samir Carruthers, both 19, came off the bench.
The average age of Villa's outfield substitutes was just 19 and a half and McLeish hopes all his younger players will develop into reliable first-team regulars.
"Sometimes you have to find out the hard way when you are not sure if they are ready and then they go and produce performances like that (at Liverpool)," he said.
"In terms of their application we know that is the first thing we ask from them but when they show us some of the qualities they have done in terms of possession and what we expect from them then they have done well."
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