Pat Holland believes it is too soon to judge the progress being made by his under-18 side following their opening games against Stoke City, Manchester United and Millwall.
Two 1-1 draws have been recorded so far and a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United as the coach seeks to bed in the new intake and ensure all of his group get suitable playing time.
"I think it is too early to really make an assessment yet, we're giving boys opportunities and three young lads came in against Millwall who hadn't played on a regular basis," reasoned Pat. "You are changing the make up of the side and players have got to get used to each other - the same as they would in reserve or first team sides.
"People need time to adjust and get used to the pace of it. It was quite a difficult game for the three lads coming in and your more experienced boys know the tempo of it all and are used to it."
A difficulty for Pat and the Academy staff to overcome is, due to a change in regulations prior to the start of last season, there is no under-17 side any longer to offer the first year trainees games on a weekly basis.
"That is the problem now, we haven't got a group where the boys can get regular football," he agreed. "We had this problem last year, a group of boys who weren't eligible to play for the under-16s and I had a pool of about 22, trying to get people games.
"I'm not sure it is the right way to achieve progression as you need an understanding of your teammates in football. This is what is in front of us though and we will go down this road and try to do it to the best of our ability.
"I think you'll see when we come to the Youth Cup, when the side is picked on merit and you start to get the ideas hopefully bedded in by that time. By that time we have established our strongest X1 but it is still about development. People don't get games if you are not prepared to put people in.
"We try not to use the more senior players from the 3rd year and have been using an under-18 side. It is just that the young players don't have the buffer the under-17 side used to provide to give them regular games."