Caring boss Jos Luhukay is determined to manage the workload of Wednesday's young guns this season.
Academy graduates Jordan Thorniley and Matt Penney surprisingly dropped out of the starting eleven in Saturday's home defeat to promotion-chasing Derby County.
It was a shock to many that Thorniley and Penney lost their spots in the team, with the pair having both played their part in the battling goalless draw at Sheffield United before the third and final international break of 2018.
But Luhukay, whose side entertain third-from-bottom Bolton Wanderers tonight, told The Star: "It is the first time in their young careers they have played in the Championship.
"When they play Saturday-Saturday, they have a whole week to recover and to come down mentally (from the game) and to find the physical side back for the next game.
"I will not bring young players into a situation where they are maybe at risk of injuries but I must also look at their own form."
Thorniley, an unused substitute against the Rams, and left-sided player Penney have established themselves as key members of Luhukay's first-team squad.
"I think the way we work with young players is going in a good direction," insisted Luhukay. "They are available and don't bring the performance of the team down.
"We know Jordan and Matt played a strong game against Sheffield United and we know we can let them play against Bolton or on Saturday and they will play good for us.
"When we look at Ash Baker and Cammy Dawson (too), these are the four players who have played a lot of minutes."
Luhukay, under increasing pressure following a poor run of form, was quick to point out that full-back Baker ran over 13km in the Derby loss. Speaking at his press briefing yesterday, Luhukay hinted he may rest Baker when they tackle Bolton on Tuesday evening.
"I must also look now to see that in two days he [Baker] is 100 per cent and ready for the next game," said Luhukay. "It is very important we look to our games and formation but also to our individual players and how they are (physically).
"No one can see that from the outside. From the GPS and physical side, we not only look at one game. We look further to one game and I think that is important for the players to stay in a good direction."
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s Under-23s, featuring Joost van Aken and David Jones, slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest last night. Neil Thompson’s side, who have lost four on the spin, had defender Connor O'Grady sent off in the first half.
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