David Pleat believes that the recent run in the team enjoyed by Stephen Kelly will stand him in good stead for next season and beyond.
The Republic of Ireland under-21 captain has ably deputised for the suspended, then injured, Stephen Carr over the last four games and the defender has clearly grown in stature for the experience - one that David feels he has dealt very well with.
"It will give him the confidence to know that he can cope with this level," reasoned the acting boss. "We've bought him on gradually and very sensibly, I feel.
"He has had loan spells at Southend, QPR and Watford - I think we have handled him very well. He is now that little bit more mature, while he has to improve certain elements of his game, which he is more than aware of himself.
"He will do that, the more he plays with better players the more he will improve."
Young prospects like Kelly, Johnnie Jackson, Rohan Ricketts and Dean Marney have, this season, been awarded the opportunity to make their mark in the Premiership, while Robert Burch, Lee Barnard and Mark Yeates have all been introduced to the first team squad scene. This, David feels, is a positive he has been able to bring about during his tenure in charge.
"I believe that, in the dual role of being responsible for the club as well the immediate of the team, we have blooded youngsters as well as maintaining our situation.
"In other words, even though we got dragged down with the terrible results towards the end, the bottom line is we maintained our status and, along the way, several youngsters have had a taste of first team football."