AFTER giving Josh Vela a baptism of fire at full-back, Neil Lennon has hinted that he has not finished experimenting with his Wanderers line-up.

Eyebrows were raised when the Academy graduate, normally a central midfielder, was named in the back four against Cardiff City but the Whites boss had no qualms about taking the 20-year-old out of his comfort zone.

“We have to look at things, I need to know what my players can do,” he said.

“Josh has trained really well and I probably should have put him in a bit earlier because he’s deserved it.

“He’s played in a position that’s maybe a bit alien to him but we felt he’s a good footballer and that he’d adjust to it.”

Vela’s inclusion at right-back came at the expense of another home-grown player, Oscar Threlkeld, who had made his first league start of the campaign at Norwich.

But Lennon says the door is still open for the Radcliffe youngster, who remains in his thoughts.

“Oscar is probably a little better defensively but we think Josh is a good footballer and he just got the nod in terms of maturity.”

Lennon has no worries about his side’s conditioning when faced with a quick turnaround for tomorrow night’s home derby against Wigan Athletic.

Cardiff struggled to cope with Wanderers’ pressing game and the manager is calling for another big push before the international break.

“The fitness in the team in the second half (against Cardiff) was fantastic, especially as they put a lot in during the first half in terms of pressing playing at such a tempo,” he said. “Our counter-attacking was outstanding, so it gives me a lot of encouragement going forward now.”

Meanwhile, Striker Connor Wilkinson has been called up to the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad for forthcoming games against USA and Russia.