Sunderland boss David Moyes says the fear of the sack prevents under-pressure Premier League managers from promoting youth players.
The rock-bottom Wearsiders – quoted 1.06 to drop out of the top flight – are embroiled in another scrap to preserve their Premier League status and travel to Vicarage Road to take on Watford next Saturday seven points adrift of 17th-placed Swansea.
Moyes’ hopes of steering the Black Cats away from the basement battle have been hit by a crippling injury crisis and the club’s perilous position at the wrong end of the table dictates the Scot needs senior players ready to hit the ground running.
American-born Lynden Gooch, who had a spell on loan at Doncaster Rovers, is a rare example of a youngster brought through to the first team.
Moyes – the only manager at a bottom-six club not to be changed this season – told the Sunderland Echo: “It does – it’s a general point, not just at this club.
“Clubs want young players in the team but they take time to develop.
“When managers are changing so quickly, why would they put younger players in the team? They need senior professionals who can come in and do the job right away.
“Jordan Pickford, Lynden Gooch, Duncan Watmore, Paddy McNair – we have had a group of younger players who have had a go this time.
“It’s just that not that noticeable because of our position.”