Brighton & Hove Albion under-21 coach Simon Rusk is delighted to see several of his players returning to fitness, with a number scheduled to return to match action in the next few weeks, including summer signings Jack Harper and Vahid Hambo.
Rusk has also seen players heading out on loan, and while he is pleased to see the younger players gaining vital experience in senior football, he has seen his options limited by a number of injuries at the start of the season.
He told seagulls.co.uk, "We had a tough pre-season because we picked up some injuries and it's been hard for the squad because we've been fully stretched.
"We've had some bad luck. Dessie Hutchinson picked up a bad ankle injury, Will Collar is having some surgery, Jason Davis has a cruciate injury and the two new lads that we've signed, Vahid Hambo and Jack Harper, are working their way back to fitness.
"We felt the time was right for one or two individuals to experience a loan move to further their development.
"With development football the result is still important, but it’s more important that you’re still coaching and improving the technical and tactical aspects of each player.
"When you go into the first team, the manager will look at a player's and the overall team performance, but ultimately it's a results-based business and they need to understand that.
"Loan moves allow that to happen. Players go into a foreign dressing room with players who are fighting for contracts year-in-year out and to achieve wins in either the Football League or National League.
"The players start to experience accountability and consequences. That generally gives them a different level of maturity when they come back.
“They learn how to cope with having greater media and public scrutiny of their own individual performances.
“Hopefully it helps them to embrace and enjoy the pressure that comes with first-team football and ultimately be further prepared to impress Chris Hughton and the first-team staff."
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Rusk has seen many positive aspects in his side’s performances and feels they have been unfortunate not to have some more points on the board.
"The results have been a little bit frustrating because we haven't got the ones we wanted.
"We were excellent at Fulham and we should've got something from the game. We had a slow second half but we were magnificent in the first half.
"We didn't turn up or put in a good enough performance at Swansea in the first half and unfortunately Adam Chicksen got sent off just after half-time. But we recovered well and still put pressure on Swansea with only 10 men.
"We faced a very strong Blackburn side and despite losing 3-0, I felt it was our best passing display of the season, but we failed to take our chances.
“We beat a strong Stoke City team 1-0 and picked up wins in friendlies against Bournemouth and Maccabi Haifa.
“We have had quite a young squad in the majority of our games so far this season and the returning players will add competition for places, which will hopefully contribute to an improvement in results.
"Category one football has been very challenging, which is exactly what we want, but I have no doubts that as the season progresses we will pick up results and continue to improve as a team.”
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