GARY Rowett says he will soon have to make good on promises made to players currently out of his Burton Albion starting side.
The Brewers boss has fostered a squad mentality at the Pirelli Stadium, with those not in the team told to work hard and earn a chance.
And the likes of striker Michael Symes and young prospects Matty Palmer and Adam Reed have done exactly that.
“What we’ve got is players out of the team doing everything right to be picked,” said Rowett. “All we ask of the players is to do everything they can to make you start them.
“One or two of them are getting to the point now that I’m going to have to give them an opportunity.
“If I don’t, all my talking about earning your chance will have people wondering what they need to do to get in.”
Symes scored after coming off the bench against Bury last week as Albion came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw.
He again netted on Tuesday night against Fulham in a thrilling 2-2 League Cup draw, Burton going out on penalties.
The 29-year-old will fancy starting against former club Accrington Stanley when the Brewers visit Lancashire this afternoon, kick-off 3pm.
“In the initial five or six games (when on loan) last season he was excellent and then he got a few little niggles and tailed off a little bit,” said Rowett.
“He found it hard in pre-season with the workload and he’s just starting to come out of that period.
“So far, he’s been the perfect player to bring on with 20 minutes to go.
“He has desire, he wins his headers, he uses the ball well and gives defenders a hard time.
“He’s scored two goals and could’ve had a couple more.”
Palmer, 18, was also hugely impressive against both Bury and Fulham, with Reed also showing his promise against the Cottagers.
The summer signing from Sunderland looked like a fish out of water when he started wide on the right against Cheltenham Town on the opening day of the season.
He has not started since, but against Fulham the 22-year-old, playing in the centre, sprayed the ball around with real confidence and looked every inch a product of a Premier League academy.
“I know he’s a good player,” said Rowett. “In all fairness, I tried to accommodate him a bit in the Cheltenham game just to see if I could get him in the team.
“He’s not a wide midfielder, he’s a central midfielder.
“He needs to be in the centre so he’s got space to use either side of him.
“He’s been knocking on the door and the door has perhaps just opened again slightly.
“Matty Palmer also came in and was excellent.
“They’re all giving me a headache.”