RONAN Darcy is still in Ian Evatt’s first team thoughts despite being dropped from the squad in the win against Leyton Orient on Saturday.

Fears had spread among supporters that the homegrown midfielder could be moved on to clear space for yesterday’s busy finale to the January transfer window.

Darcy has started just four games this season but has been a regular on the bench for the Whites, making 11 appearances in all.

Evatt insists that the Liverpudlian does have a big future with Wanderers and has praised his attitude in training over the last few days.

“I really rate Ronan as a footballer,” he said. “He’s technical, he has got a lot of talent, and in the last week in particular he has put together the best week of training I have seen from him.

“I spoke to him this morning and said ‘it has to be your standard now, if you give me that every day then it won’t be long before you are in the team’.

“Ronan has unfortunately been the victim of a couple of things – the team hasn’t been getting the right result and he’s a technical player, a possession-based player. When the team lacks confidence I don’t think we see the best of him in that scenario.

“Added to that we do have some very good players in that position. The likes of Kieran Lee, George Thomason, Antoni Sarcevic, it has been really competitive.

“The club’s young players have got a great reputation and rightly so for the job they did for the club last season. But I feel like they were thrown in before they were actually ready and that means people possibly view them differently, their expectation has been raised.

“Really, they should be playing Under-23s football to develop. Playing week in, week out in League Two is physically demanding and difficult for a young footballer.

“But I do think Ronan will be a fantastic player for this club and he is developing all the time. I have been really pleased with him.”