Preview: Caretaker manager Darren Sarll not afraid to put his trust in youth ahead of Cambridge United derby clash

Caretaker boss Darren Sarll claps the fans before the game

Caretaker boss Darren Sarll claps the fans before the game - Credit: Archant

Following young central midfielder Tom Conlon’s superb brace in Tuesday night’s 2-1 League Two victory at relegation rivals Hartlepool United, Darren Sarll has re-iterated his eagerness to give youth a chance in the first team.

The 20-year-old had only been on the pitch for six minutes, having replaced the injured Dean Parrett, when he drove across the edge of the box and lashed an unstoppable shot past helpless Pools keeper Trevor Carson on the stroke of half-time.

Conlon’s second was far more straight-forward but exhibited just what the youngsters can do when they are given game time and speaking ahead of Stevenage’s League Two derby showdown with Cambridge United at the Lamex Stadium tomorrow (Saturday), Sarll, promoted from academy boss to caretaker manager, is happy to turn to the less experienced players even in what is likely to be a blood and thunder affair against Shaun Derry’s men.

Sarll said: “I’m not fussed if they’re 18 or 38, I’ll just put out the players I think are best suited for the occasion and that can also lead the club forward.

“It doesn’t matter to me how old they are or if they’ve only just come up from the academy, it’s about putting the best prepared players out on the football pitch every time we have a game.

“Therefore if Dale Gorman deserves to be out on the pitch, he’s out on the pitch. If that is because someone like Michael Tonge - I’d be very surprised if this was ever the case - but if Michael didn’t prepare as well for a game as Dale Gorman, then Dale Gorman would play instead of Michael Tonge.

“No-one has a divine right to play for this football club. The whole point is when you play for Stevenage, you roll up your sleeves and you earn the right to play for the football club and that will always be me whether it be for three more days or 10 more years.”

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With several first-teamers still on the treatment table, Sarll may be required to put his methods into practice against the play-off chasing U’s.

He continued: “Michael Tonge had a injury and it’s been doubled up with a bit of illness so the injury and ilness combined is a bit worrying.

“With Chris Whelpdale, he’s close but it’s not like you just wheel recovering players back out on the training pitch and off you go, you’re fine to play at 3pm every Saturday. He’ll need time back out on the grass and he’ll need time to adjust to the rigours and intensities of training.

“He has those challenges ahead and I wouldn’t look to within the next fortnight for him to be playing a part.”

Sarll did however confirm that Parrett should be available after suffering a nasty kick on Tuesday night while striker Byron Harrison, back at Boro for a second spell on a one-month loan from League One Chesterfield, should also feature.

Follow @stevenageborofc on Twitter for Stevenage v Cambridge United updates from 3pm tomorrow afternoon.

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