Dundee United will use their young players wisely in the new season, according to boss Robbie Neilson.
The Tangerines kick off their 2019-20 Championship campaign at home to Inverness Caley Thistle on Saturday and their squad will include plenty of up-and-coming talent.
Scott Banks, Louis Appere, Logan Chalmers and Chris Mochrie have all featured in the first team this summer, while Declan Glass also featured before going out on loan to Cove Rangers.
Neilson, whose time in charge of Hearts was marked by the successful use of youth players, is determined to adopt a measured approach at United.
He said: “They will definitely be involved this season as we have some good quality young players here.
“Banks has done well, as has Appere, Chalmers and Mochrie.
“Glass has gone away out on loan and is doing really well at Cove so we’ll see how he does and look to probably bring him back in the January window.
“It is just about managing this group and we’ve got some younger ones below that as well.
“You just can’t chuck them in full steam.
“They need to come in and out as is necessary and that’s the reason we have senior players in the squad that can help them.
“As they come in and out they can be supported through it.
“I think the boys here have a chance but they need to continue to prove that.
“At Hearts, some of the younger lads just had to play and it gave them that grounding.
“Most of them had played 30 games by the time I came into the club, which helps.
“We don’t have that here so we have to just manage the boys through, give them the game time when we feel we need them and then hope that they will blossom into good players for us.”
With ICT the first foots on Saturday, Neilson attended the Highlanders’ Betfred Cup tie loss to Dundee at Dens last Sunday.
He felt they looked familiar, saying: “I thought they were very similar to last season.
“We expect much the same and the team they had last year was very good.
“The boy Jordan White up top for them is the main target.
“They go into him and then look to play off him.
“They have brought in (ex-United man) James Keatings instead of Liam Polworth and he is a similar type of player.
“Keats has got great qualities when he gets into certain positions.”
Neilson is well aware how formidable a foe Inverness boss John Robertson can be and has great respect for him.
He said: “I know Robbo well, really well.
“For the last few years he has produced a good team up there on a limited budget and managed to keep most of his good players.
“Even when he lost Polworth and Joe Chalmers, he managed to replace them with James Vincent and Keatings while keeping the core of the team.
“They will be tough.
“They will come down to Tannadice with no real pressure on them and can sit in and make it difficult for us.”
Meanwhile, the Tangerines have released Belgian frontman Yannick Loemba.
He has been at Tannadice for a year and played 10 times.
United stated: “He leaves with the best wishes of the club for his future career.”