Antony Kay, the MK Dons defender, believes the appointment of young managers such as David Weir and Karl Robinson will prove a force for good in English football.
Weir, aged 43, took charge of Sheffield United earlier this summer after serving a coaching apprenticeship at Everton while Robinson, 11 years his junior, has spent after being handed the reins in Buckinghamshire.
Speaking ahead of today’s meeting between the two teams at Bramall Lane, Kay told The Star: “In my opinion, that trend’s definitely a good thing. It’s good that they are being given a chance and are bold enough to experiment. Andre Villas-Boas at Spurs, (Swansea City’s) Michael Laudrup and even our gaffer, Karl have all been given opportunities and they’re all known for creating styles with their clubs.”
Kay, who spent seven years with United’s neighbours Barnsley, added: “Every player wants to play a certain style of football and I think a lot of players would prefer to play in teams which pass the ball rather than just boot it.
“It plays a big part in the decision of where you play your football. I think though there is value in both styles of play because as the past shows you need both sides of the game to get promoted.”
Kay, aged 30, scored the penalty which saw United’s neighbours secure promotion to the Championship via the play-offs seven years ago.
Having arrived at stadium:mk last summer following spells with Tranmere Rovers and Huddersfield Town, he aims to adopt the same ‘no-fear’ approach against a United team expected to hand a debut to new signing Jose Baxter.
“Sometimes in life you need to grasp opportunities when they come around,” he said. “It could have been the best moment in my career, which it probably is, or it could have been the worst if I’d have missed it. I took that chance. Three of the regular penalty-takers had been subbed during the game but as an experienced player I was happy to step up.”