PAUL Hall shared his pride at seeing Ryan Manning become the latest QPR youngster to emerge into the senior setup this season – and says the next challenge is to stay there.
Manning follows in the footsteps of the likes of Olamide Shodipo, Osman Kakay and Ebere Eze who have all made their professional debuts during the 2016/17 campaign.
And as Hall admits, after wins in each of his three Championship games so far including the assist in the latest at Reading, the Irishman has looked far from out of place.
“We’ve worked really hard with Ryan, as we’ve worked hard with all of the players,” Hall told www.qpr.co.uk.
“There’s a steady stream of players coming through who have all gone into the First Team at some point and not let themselves down.
“Our job is to get them ready as much as possible and then when they’re in the First Team, that’s the next stage of their development.
“Ryan going in there has really opened a lot of people’s eyes. Now he looks like he’s been in there all the time.”
But the hard work doesn’t stop there. Far from it, as Hall explains.
“That’s where it starts!” he stressed. “Or at least goes onto another level.
“They’ve got so much hunger to get into the First Team but then so many players, once they get in there, stop becoming hungry. What happens is they need to get that hunger back and start doing the things they were doing which got them there in the first place.
“These players need to keep pushing the boundaries and asking questions of themselves and really asking questions of the players in front of them. What you want in an ideal situation is the senior players to be looking over their shoulders because they’ve got somebody behind them hungry for their place.
“We’ve hopefully got that in Ryan. He’s gone in there and made players look over their shoulders, which can only be a good thing.”
Hall was speaking after Monday’s 3-0 defeat at Millwall.
Despite the result, the Under-23s boss was pleased to welcome back Michael Petrasso who made his return from a long-term thigh injury.
“It’s fantastic to see him back,” Hall said. “He’s another one who’s come out of the Academy and played in the First Team.
“We like it when the boys come back [into the Under-23s] because it’s another element we can add to the game and the rest of the squad can all learn off someone like him.
“The boys were playing against an older, much more experienced Millwall team but we got out as much of the game as we could.”