Darren Ferguson is confident his squad is experienced enough to cope with the demands of League One.
The average age of the side that started at Bradford City last weekend was 23.
That youthfulness, in some quarters, has been earmarked as a possible weakness in an unforgiving division.
But, speaking ahead of today’s home clash with Southend United, Ferguson insisted he was happy with the balance of his squad.
“I feel there are some very good experienced players in the squad,” he said.
“I don’t have to list them, we all know who they are.
“I think the balance between the experienced lads and the younger lads with the enthusiasm and the energy is okay, I’ve got to be honest.
“We did obviously try and add [Steven] Taylor in the summer to give us a bit more experience but that didn’t work out.
“I have to say that Joe Wright has come in and stepped up.
“I also feel the ones that have been injured [have been a miss]. Baudry’s a big character, he’s got a lot of experience. And McCullough although he’s young he’s a big character.
“Those two are coming back at the right time and I think that will add to that.
“I feel we’ve got the right balance but the young boys have got to learn quickly and the older ones have got to make sure they keep helping them out.”
He added: “I’ve always had a lot of younger players in my squad wherever I’ve managed because I know what that brings, in terms of the energy, desire and work rate you get. Those things are paramount to anything you want to do.
“With that brings a little bit of inconsistency and sometimes a little bit of naivety but you have to have a good group of experienced players within the squad and I feel we do have that.
“There’s probably seven or eight I could easily list and that’s more than a third of your squad.”
Mathieu Baudry is pencilled in to play for the development side next week against Walsall.
Luke McCullough is unlikely to feature in that game after feeling a tweak in his thigh but is closing in on a return to action.