William Gallas and Carlo Cudicini paid tribute to the club's younger players after last week's Europa League clash in Russia.
We finished the game with six Academy graduates - having started with four - and they gave everything in a 1-0 loss against Rubin Kazan.
William and Carlo, who have seen it all at the highest level throughout their careers, were full of positives afterwards.
“They have all done well,” said Carlo, who produced one of the individual displays of the season in goal. “You have to remember these lads have come from Academy football into European football.
“They have a chance and I believe the manager has to be happy with their performances.”
William returned after injury make his first start of the season and he was just as impressed.
“We played with a lot of young players but you can see they have quality and that’s good for the future of the club,” he added.
The youngsters next chance to shine might well come in the next Europa League Group A match against PAOK at the Lane on Wednesday, November 30.
The game certainly has more riding on it after the last round of results.
PAOK top the group and we slipped down to third behind Rubin - but we have the knowledge that victory against the Greek side will still see us guaranteed a place in the knockout stage of the competition.
"It was disappointing not to get a point against Rubin but the group is still wide open and we have to be confident," said Carlo.
William agreed. "The important thing is that we all move on from that game and make it into the next stage of the competition. We can do that."
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