THE blossoming of Leeds United’s exciting band of youngsters since the turn of the year has brought the feelgood factor back to Elland Road.
With good reason, too, as the quartet of Sam Byram, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook and Charlie Taylor have shown enough during the current league run of seven wins from 10 games since the start of 2015 that they can form the bedrock of a potential promotion push next time around.
The success of the four Academy graduates has led to calls for others to be given their head now that Leeds are all but safe.
However, while head coach Neil Redfearn – in charge of the youth set-up for six years until this season – admits there are plenty more budding talents coming through, he is also wary about getting the balance right.
“The young lads are chomping at the bit,” said the Elland Road chief. “And that brings healthy competition.
“The first-team lads know there are lads coming through. Everyone knows they have to play well to keep them out. No-one has the right to stay in the team and they have to play well.
“There is a time to put them in but timing is important. We have to be careful we don’t put too many in at once.
“You have to have the right balance between youth and experience. But they have definitely shown they are capable.”
Chris Dawson, Lewis Walters and Kalvin Phillips are among those being touted for a first-team run but Redfearn is today expected to stick with the personnel that has helped transform United’s season over the past 10 weeks.
He added: “Some of the lads have played out of position. It means they are pulling for the cause. That is the big thing.”