Full-back duo Liam Graham and Laurence Maguire made their home debuts in the 3-3 draw with Gillingham on Tuesday, and both were commended by defensive colleague Sam Hird.
The pair had been drafted in after recent injury woes at the club and Hird said that he was impressed by the duo's start to life in the first team.
“I thought that they both played really well and had solid performances,” Hird said of Graham and Maguire. “Liam played well the other day at Bury and baring the first 20 to 30 minutes where they gave him a tough time he settled into the game well.
“He was obviously unlucky with the last goal and the fact that Tom Pope pulled on him, which is something that he does, didn't help. Then today he had a big game and Maguire came in as well and I thought he had a steady first start for the team.
“They are good players and at some point everybody has to step up to the plate, Graham is not a young lad anymore, he is a young man at 24-years-old.
“Maguire meanwhile, is still a young player but he is mature for his age, he has got good people around him and he showed how good a defender he is.
Despite a strong debut, it was Maguire that gave away Gillingham’s second penalty of the night, but Hird insisted he was not to blame: “I think he was hard done by for the penalty, I don't think that was a penalty at all.”
“I will have to see again, but in open play and from what Maguire and the other lads have said in the dressing room, their player has made the most of it and maybe dived, I think at the end of the day, it was just a coming together of shoulders and the ref, by the sounds of it, has got that one wrong.”