BUCKY’S BLOG: Now is the time for Rovers to look to youth

Rovers players celebrate after scoring at Bramhall Lane
Rovers players celebrate after scoring at Bramhall Lane

We have to look to the future now.

I think we’ll definitely be in League One next season and, from my point of view, and I’ve been saying it for a while now, we should start to take a proper look at Liam Mandeville.

When he came on against Bradford I think he showed swagger.

And he’s not the only prospect. We’ve got three or four very good youth players and it might be time to get them in the side.

At the end of the day if we don’t give them a chance to play, how do we know if they’re good enough?

Now they’d have enough time to make an impression with the fans and give them something to look forward to next season. I’d certainly like to see it.

Let’s give youth a try, not least because I think that will be the direction Paul Dickov will be pushed in next season.

As much as it pains me, I don’t know whether the likes of Richie Wellens or James Coppinger will be around much longer given their respective ages. So who’ll be there next season? The young players.

I thought Rovers’ play-off bid was hanging by a thread after the Bradford loss we definitely needed three points from Bramall Lane. We’re too far away now.

The players will be rueing missed chances.

The Bradford game was a typical case of a game of two halves. For all I thought we did quite well in the first half, you have to take your chances.

I thought we were unfortunate not be up at half time, but then in the second half it just goes to show that goals change games.

It was a much improved showing at Sheffield United.

Why are we so much better away from home? I’m trying to get to the bottom of it.

With Mandeville, the McKay twins and Harry Middleton, and I’m not saying just throw them in, but we have an opportunity now to take a good look at them. The time is right now.

You hear people talking about good players coming through and who is promising. Okay, fair enough, but someone needs to show faith for them to come in.

There’s a handful of games left to see them and the supporters love to see local talent come through. And I know it fits in with the academy ethos.

I assume we’ll be looking for a goalscorer in the summer. And Wellens sooner or later has big shoes that will need filling, so we will be looking in important areas.

It’s time now to start assessing players and preparing for next season. Who will be there? Who can we bring in? I’m sure Dickov is already looking at it. He just needs to make sure we get the right players in.

It’s disappointing because I’ve always felt - and I’ll admit now I was wrong - that Rovers would finish top six because they can beat anyone on their day. The home form has let us down.

That’s something to work on for next season. It could be the difference.