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Why Not Give Youth a Go?

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Occasional guest contributor Michael Murray calls on Dougie Freedman to give some of the kids ago in the remaining four games of the season.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Four games left of what has been another crazy Sky Bet Championship season and after a good recent run of results, even if some of the performances have been rather uninspiring, Bolton Wanderers are definitely not going to get relegated! We are fourteen points clear of ‘facking Millwall' who currently occupy the third and final relegation position with only a further twelve to play for.

What is ridiculous is that, mathematically, we can still qualify for the play-offs. Now, before anyone jumps down my throat and calls me deluded or anything of that ilk then please do not bother. I'm not for one minute suggesting that we can, or that I believe we can qualify for the play-offs.

I can be blinded by loyalty towards my football club but I am not stupid enough to believe that such a thing may be a reality.

I am merely emphasising that this division is bonkers and despite us being completely hopeless for the majority, we can finish the season nearer to the top six than the bottom three.

There is a realistic chance that we can take between seven and ten points from our final four fixtures against Charlton Athletic, Leicester City, Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City. This would probably leave us with a top half finish which, again, after all the crap we have served up for the majority of the previous forty two games would not be too bad. Obviously I'm not satisfied with that, we should have been challenging for a play-off spot, but we have not been good enough.

Ten points from the final four games would leave us with sixty four for the season, just four behind last season's total of sixty eight. If we manage to win all of our remaining games we will finish on sixty six. It is quite surreal to think that the records of the last two seasons may end up being so close.

Personally, however, I would be willing to forego such a finish if, given that we are 100% safe if Dougie Freedman promotes a few players from the U21s and gives them a run out. Let's see if the likes of Georg Iliev, Zach Clough, Conor Wilkinson and Chris Lester are good enough to make the transition; let's see if they can handle the rigours of senior football.

With a reduced parachute payment next season, a likely drop in revenues from tickets and sponsorship aligned with the clubs ‘commitment' to becoming more financially responsible, we are going to be relying on youth next season, especially with the number of players expected to leave the club in the summer.

So Dougie, let's not send these lads in completely cold.

It will also allow you to fully assess which areas to spend the little money you will have to strengthen and try to fight for a play-off spot next season.

As usual, if you want to take issue with anything I have said, please do not hesitate to contact me either in the comments section below, or feel free to drop me a tweet here.