Morecambe boss Jim Bentley will not throw the club’s younger players into a starting role just for the sake of it.
The Shrimps host Wolves’ Under-21s in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday night, looking for the first win of the group stage after losing their opening game at Blackpool.
The competition has been set up as a vehicle for Premier League clubs to field their youngsters but there is also scope for the Shrimps to do likewise.
Players such as Carlos Mendes Gomes, Lamin Jagne, Tyler Brownsword and Joe Lynch have been peripheral figures so far this season despite the Shrimps’ league struggles.
Mendes Gomes, in particular, is a player who has shown flashes of ability in his previous appearances as an attacking midfielder but Bentley spelled out the reason for his lack of game time.
“We’ve got players playing well in the position,” he said.
“A-Jay Leitch-Smith is back now and he plays as either a number 10 or centre-forward.
“Lewis Alessandra has been playing there and he’s the top scorer.
“With young lads, they will go up and down in their development.
“That’s only natural; if they keep going on that upward spiral, they will be playing in the team.
“It’s important we do right by them; there’s a lot to be positive about with regard to our academy set-up.
“We’ve got good young lads at the moment and it’s about trying to get the right balance.”
The Shrimps welcome Wolves, looking for only their third win of the season in all competitions.
With a trip to Port Vale on Saturday, Bentley is caught between wanting to win on Tuesday and giving key players a night off in preparation for Saturday.
“It’s an opportunity to get back to winning ways,” he said.
“We have to make sure we select the team properly with regards to who needs what.
“We’re looking forward to it and looking to get the win we need to boost morale.
“There’s players we want to give an opportunity to; when we don’t win, people are looking to get in the side.
“There are opportunities; we have a decent squad and we haven’t got going.”