Danny Wilson says he will always be cautious when blooding prospects from United's coveted Academy production line.
Several youngsters have had a taste of the first-team environment this season, with George Long and Harry Maguire the two obvious role models for the current crop to aspire to, with the latter having recently clocked up his 100th senior appearance in less than two years.
When asked about the prospects at his disposal, the Gaffer, who has been impressed with Callum McFadzean of late, commented:
"It can be difficult to gauge the progress of the youngsters at times. They impress you for several weeks and then all of a sudden they tail off. The form of young players will always be up and down; you have to be patient with them and manage the inconsistencies.
"One minute you think they have made it and they are in contention for the first-team then often you are back to square one and working on the training pitch again.
"At the moment, Callum is the one pushing really hard, he has been outstanding in the U21s and when he has been involved with the first-team he has impressed.
"What you are always trying to strive for is that level of consistency, you hope and pray that they can maintain a high level of performance, but you can never be too critical, or expect too much."