"It is tough to put young players in the first team because Premier League games are so valuable and even league positions where you finish are worth a lot of money," said the Scot.
"And if I lost, the media wouldn't be 'It was great I played Ross Barkley', you'd be asking me about a defeat. I think that is part of the Premier League now, it makes it difficult.
"But I do think we have been one of the better clubs at introducing young players and trying to give them opportunities and we will continue to do so.
"Ross is ready to go play at a senior level, but not quite here yet.
"You have to remember he is only 18 years old and he missed a lot of football (having sustained a triple-break of his leg in 2011).
"He came on the scene last year and we tried to get him lots of games with the youth team and reserve team.
"But the chance to get him some regular football is more important for his long-term development because he is not ready to play regularly for us now.
"It will be good for him to have the chance to go and make some mistakes and learn at Sheffield Wednesday, a big club with a big support."