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Prepared to give youngsters a chance

19 July 2016

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If they are good enough, they are old enough.

That is the view of Rovers boss Owen Coyle.

The manager has handed a host of the club's most promising young players a chance to impress in pre-season - the latest being 17-year-old Academy defender Tyler Magloire, who produced a composed performance in Saturday's 1-0 victory over Bury.

The likes of Connor Mahoney, Lewis Hardcastle, Jack Doyle, Scott Wharton and Ryan Nyambe have also featured so far this summer.  

And Coyle, who has a track record for blooding young players, insists he won't hesitate to give Rovers' starlets a chance, providing they prove they are ready to play first team football.

"I think it's important and it's always nice when your actions back up your words," said the manager.

"I'd said to the young players when I came in to see them at the Academy that if you look where I've been, I've got no fear of playing young players.

"If young players are good enough, they play for me. Whether they're 16 or 17, it makes no odds to me if they're good enough and Blackburn Rovers have always had a history of bringing good young players through the club.

"We mentioned last week that we finished with eight Academy products in the game against SV Ried, so to split them up on Saturday and bring some of them into the first game and some into the second game, that will only help them.

"Going back to my original point, I told the young ones if they're good enough they'll get a chance.

"I watched young Tyler during the week (in a behind-closed-doors game) against Oldham and obviously with the centre back situation as it is now, we brought him in and he played.

"Now he goes back and his team-mates at the Academy think there is a pathway to the first team and that's great for them.

"The likes of Connor Mahoney and these boys have been round about the squad, but Ryan Nyambe has come in, Scott Wharton has come in, young Tyler has come in, so all of a sudden you've got these kids coming through which is brilliant and I think it gives everyone at the football club a lift, knowing that there's some good young talent.

"Are they quite ready to play in the Championship? Who knows. But they are certainly going the right way to try and achieve their ultimate goal."

Coyle confirmed that 19-year-old Mahoney, who started two games for the first team towards the back end of last season, would be part of his plans going into the 2016-17 Championship campaign.

"I like Connor," added the Rovers boss. "I love my wingers, I've said that from day one.

"He's a positive player and I've asked him to be positive, because not everything they do is going to come off and ultimately it won't result in a goal all the time, but I'll never stop him from being positive.

"As you saw in the game, when it breaks down, they know to get back into that nice defensive shape, so that we've got connections all over the park.

"But Connor's got pace, he's got a trick, he put a couple of wonderful crosses in, so I think he's got a chance. We'll give him that platform, but ultimately it will be up to Connor.

"We'll try and pass on our experience, but ultimately Connor is the one who can make the impact, because he'll get the chance to do it and it's up to him to take it."

Rovers are back in action this Tuesday night when they take on Rochdale at Spotland. Fans can see the game by paying cash only on the turnstiles. Admission prices for the 7.45pm kick-off are £10 for Adults, Seniors and Over 16s. Juniors aged 16 and under are £5.

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