DOUGIE Freedman reserved top praise for his young guns after they helped shoot down Sheffield Wednesday.
Wanderers cruised to a 3-1 win at Hillsborough in their penultimate game of the season, thanks to goals from Neil Danns, Chung-Yong Lee and Liam Trotter. But the rave reviews went to homespun starlet Oscar Threlkeld, who made an accomplished debut at right-back.
“As debuts go, and I’ve given a lot in my short period in management here and at Crystal Palace, I felt it was one of the best I’ve come across, especially up against some quick wingers in (Jeremy) Helan and (Michail) Antonio,” Freedman said of the Farnworth youngster.
“I think Oscar did very well and it’s a credit to him and his family how he handled the occasion.”
Andy Kellett, who had made his bow against Leicester in midweek, and Tom Youngs, whose only previous senior appearance came against Tranmere in the Capital One Cup back in August, added yet more youthfulness in the second half.
“When Andy Kellett came on he showed his quick pair of heels and created a couple of chances,” eulogised Freedman.
“Young Andy loved every minute out there. And Tom Youngs – I’ve never seen anyone take a tracksuit off so quickly as when I told him he was going on.
“I just love that enthusiasm. I want it around the place and, hopefully, the fans can see now that if they are good enough, they’ll get a chance. I have tried to blood a couple of young players. I am a man of my word, I try to stick to what I say, not just off the cuff. And I have been trying my very best to get young players into the team.”
Wanderers had raced into a three-goal lead by the half-hour mark and Freedman said the only negative side of the day was that his side had not scored more.
“If we’d have been more clinical, it could have filled our boots,” he said.
“I thought some of our approach play, passing the ball from the back through midfield was great. I was so impressed how they did that today.
“Of course it was crucial we started the game well. They had been beaten by Charlton the other night, so I knew that Stuart Gray would be looking for a reaction from them.
“But I thought that was one of the best away performances of the season and it sets us up nicely for next weekend at the Reebok, where hopefully we can send the fans away for the summer with a win.”