Richard Beale on trusting 'transition' going into Watford PL Cup clash

Richard Beale takes training at Albion's training ground

Richard Beale believes it’s important Albion continue giving youngsters a chance to impress at a higher level, as he looks for a response in Friday’s Premier League Cup tie against Watford (ko 1pm).

Several of the club’s U21s have gained opportunities away at senior level this term, with Caleb Taylor, Tom Fellows, Quevin Castro, Mo Faal and Jamie Andrews all playing regularly at their respective loan clubs.

As a result, the PL2 side has handed a number of Under-18s a chance in the starting XI, with many likely to be called on again during Friday afternoon's trip to the Orbital Fasteners Stadium.

Kevin Mfuamba, 16, in action for Albion's PL2 side against Stoke City

Although the Baggies have suffered consecutive defeats in the PL Cup recently, boss Beale hopes each loss is providing his young side with “good habits” to get into going forward, and wants a more “ruthless” showing from his team when they take on the Hornets.

Beale said: “We’re a very young team this year and the young boys are getting some fantastic exposure in the Under-21s.

“They’ve shown some positive attributes but at times, they’ve made mistakes and not been ruthless enough but that’s what young players are going to do.

“In terms of the cup, we obviously managed to win it last year and that was a fantastic achievement, and we’ll be fighting to do the same again. We want to win every game and at Huddersfield we could have won the game by a number of goals but, ultimately, we weren’t ruthless enough.

“We’ve been working really hard with the boys to get them closer to first team level, and that’s the big aim for us.

“It’s a transitional phase for us at the moment and you get used to that as a development phase coach. You always have to look at the bigger picture and watching the likes of Harry [Whitwell] and Kevin [Mfuamba] as 16/17-year-olds playing in the John Smith’s Stadium last week was fantastic to see.

England U18 international Harry Whitwell holds off a challenge for Albion's PL2 side against Stoke City

“A big reason players don’t make it in the game is because they can’t replicate that consistency that you need at first-team level. But that’s what we strive for every day to instil those good habits into our game.

“If we wanted to win every game, we’d keep all of our best players and not send them out on loan. But it’s about that development, take Jamie Andrews and Quevin Castro playing against each other in front of more than 16,000 over the weekend as an example of that.

“Mo Faal’s a big strong physical forward playing for Telford, Tom Fellows is playing regularly at Crawley and obviously Caleb Taylor’s starting in Cheltenham’s team.

"We’re pleased all of those players are out there and performing. When you send the best lads out, then younger boys step up which means you have to start again in a way, but it’s important we continue that transition.

“Watford are always a tough team to play against, they have an established academy, but we’re chomping at the bit to go down on Friday and put on a good show.

“We missed a lot of chances against Huddersfield, so it’s important the lads focus on Watford because that’s their next chance to impress and we’ll be looking to do that and be more ruthless in front of goal.”

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