Hat-trick hero Cameron Archer and Aston Villa’s other young talents delighted assistant manager Craig Shakespeare in the Carabao Cup victory at Barrow.
Dean Smith made 10 changes for Tuesday’s clash at a sold-out Dunes Hotel Stadium, where Jaden Philogene-Bidace, Carney Chukwuemeka and Archer were all handed their first Villa starts.
The teenage trio impressed in the 6-0 second-round win against League Two side Barrow, with 19-year-old Archer grabbing three to complement Anwar El Ghazi’s brace and a Frederic Guilbert strike.
“You want to get through to the next round but then you’ve got a young boy coming in and scores a hat-trick, always pleasing,” Villa assistant manager Shakespeare said.
“I took great pleasure in watching the youth team last season, great pleasure in some of the youth players training him with us this season and staking a claim.
“But it wasn’t an easy 6-0. We have to give Barrow a bit of credit.
“But (it was) pleasing for Cameron to get his hat-trick and obviously Anwar got a couple of goals as well.
“We’ve got a strong squad and everyone knows that we’ve got some good young players and to help their development it’s important that they get chances like this.
“I thought that a lot of them took the opportunity really well tonight.”
Villa could have had more on a night when their young players impressed in a physical clash in front of 5,349 fans.
“That’s part of their development,” Shakespeare said. “It’s not just about the pretty, silky football.
“It’s about the winning mentality and the physical side of it and you saw that there’s a few hefty challenges and it’s about dusting yourself down and getting on with it, then having the courage to get on the ball again.”
While Villa look forward to the third-round draw and Saturday’s return to Premier League action against Brentford, the hosts’ focus returns to League Two matters and Bristol Rovers’ arrival.
Barrow boss Mark Cooper said: “Listen, I’m frustrated because the scoreline didn’t do ourselves justice.
“Yeah, we’re playing against a good team but we’ve got to be better than that.
“I think we started well, growing into it and the plan was to get into half-time still in the game.
“The first goal was horrendous defending and then we give the ball away cheap, 2-0.
“We should have a penalty straight after that to make it 2-1, instead it goes to 3-0. Game over.
“I can’t criticise the players, they have been fantastic. You can tell that we’re not training properly.
“We’re nowhere near the fitness levels we need to be, especially against a Premier League team.
“The positive is the money. I hope we can push that back into the infrastructure and another big game for us Saturday.
“We have got to show a little bit of resilience and fight and bounce back.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.