Date: 21st November 2012 at 10:42pm
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Gus Poyet has outlined the importance of the new under-21 development league by pointing to Saturday’s successful deputies.

A host of fringe players have been thrust back into the fold in recent weeks, owing to injuries to some key first teamers. Stepping out from the shadows, Peter Brezovan, Lewis Dunk, Marcos Painter and Inigo Calderon have all filled in to help the side to some positive results.

And Gus is keen to emphasise the role of the under-21 league with regards to maintaining match fitness, and ensuring that when chances do arise, the player is best prepared to make sure they deliver for the first team.

He told the Argus, “We are open minded about players playing in the under-21s. Some people, like Dunky and Calde and Marcos, treat it naturally. Others see it as a punishment. It’s never a punishment.

“You never know what is going to happen, so play a few games in the second team because maybe you need to jump into a big game. That is the biggest opportunity the players have got here and when there is not a game we try to arrange a friendly.

“The idea is to give people who are not playing 90 minutes. You cannot compare training with a game.

“Calde did very well for us at right-back when he jumped in earlier in the season. At 2-0 on Saturday he was thinking he is not going to play and then he has to go on at left-back in the worst part of the game for us, to defend and defend and battle, and he performed.”