Gradi: We won't rush the kids

Gradi: Won't rush starlets

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Crewe boss Dario Gradi won't risk using his latest batch of promising youngsters in a large number of games this season.

England under-17 duo Nick Powell and Max Clayton, and teenage centre back George Ray are among those who've starred in the Railwaymen's preparations but Gradi is wary of exposing them to too much too soon.

"The youngsters have come in and done well," Gradi told the club's official website. "They have settled in well and have that youthful enthusiasm for the work. What I won't do is play them all season.

"I don't want Nick Powell to be playing 46 league games but I could jumble things up with the formation because he offers us something that the others can't in that position.

"I don't want to be picking George Ray at centre back because I don't think he is ready. He will think he is, and will want to play because he will have that confidence in his ability and so he should because he has got a lot of ability.

"There is an opportunity there for them here and it will be interesting to see how they do this season."