Tony Pulis hails 'brilliant' West Brom teenagers as history beckons
Published 24/08/2016 | 11:01
West Brom boss Tony Pulis has praised the Baggies young guns despite their surprise cup exit as Kane Wilson stands on the brink of making history.
The 16-year-old defender could become the first player born in the 21st century to feature in the Premier League after his debut in the shock penalty shoot-out defeat in the EFL Cup to Northampton on Tuesday.
Wilson was born in March 2000 and replaced Everton loanee Brendan Galloway as Albion lost 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra-time at Sixfields.
He has been an unused substitute in West Brom's opening two Premier League games this season and, despite Albion's exit, Pulis was pleased with his youngsters as 18-year-old Sam Field also made his first start.
"When Kane came on he showed some promise and that's a bonus for us," he said. "Kane was smashing. They are two young lads who have come through the academy and they were brilliant.
"Brendan also did well at left-back, he showed great promise and wanted to get forward. He has got a good left foot and Sam in midfield was exceptional especially as they are young lads and not used to the tempo of these games."
James McClean and Gareth McAuley cancelled out Zander Diamond's opener but Alex Revell's late goal sent the tie into extra-time.
James Morrison and Saido Berahino failed in the shoot-out and Kenji Gorre scored the winning penalty for Northampton.
Pulis said: "We played some good stuff at times: the period just after half-time when we had two or three great opportunities to kill the game and we didn't.
"That's what happens. When you are 2-1 up and they get a rebound off Boaz (Myhill) and the lad scores. Then you are chasing the game again."
Northampton extended their club-record unbeaten run to 26 games and have not lost since January, with b oss Rob Page aiming to take the victory into their Sky Bet League One campaign.
Page said: "It might have taken us four or five games to get to that level, but we've shown glimpses of what we're capable of now and fair play to the senior boys, they've been saying that themselves.
"Now we take it into the league and make sure we acquit ourselves in the same manner in which we have done tonight and focus on taking three points on Saturday."