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McLeish admits Villa kids had had baptism of fire

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish admits his youngsters haven't been afforded a bedding down period.

He had academy graduates Samir Carruthers (19), Barry Bannan (22), Nathan Baker (20), Eric Lichaj (23), Gary Gardner (19) and Andreas Weimann (20) on the bench at the Emirates, while Chris Herd and Marc Albrighton, both 22, started the game.

"It's been a baptism," admitted McLeish. "We have had to give a lot of players an opportunity, such have been the demands on our squad.

"I would have liked to be four or five rungs up the table if we were blooding so many of the youngsters, as we have this season.

"A lot of the young players have been pushed into action. It is a tough ask to throw them in, but I am sure they will be all the better for that in the future.

"To have six of them on the bench doesn't give you a lot of experience, especially when you look at the opposition bench and it is worth £40m-50m.

"We do lack that plethora of experienced players. But we have always said it is transitional."

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