Paul Lambert is confident the path his emerging team are treading will lead them to long-term success.
Lambert watched on as his side of starlets played out a 0-0 draw with West Ham at Upton Park.
It may not have been a game for the purists but Lambert saw pointers of progress.
He witnessed resilience, determination, bravery and grit as his young lions, berated for defensive fragility last term, kept the Hammers at bay in their own backyard.
Lambert believes patience is now key as his team continue to grow as players and men in the coming weeks, months and years ahead.
He said: "I think you've got to have a vision. You've got to see the bigger picture rather than the small view.
"I just knew from last year if they could see that through that would do them the world of good.
"They're getting better and I've got nothing but praise for them in the way they're progressing.
"I think it comes from within themselves. They believe they can do it.
"They're good players - I see it every single day. It's just having that belief that they belong in that company.
"I think last year what they went through, allied to this year, they've certainly progressed a lot, lot further - and a lot further than I thought they would.
"We do a lot of work with them. We do a lot of situations where we think they're going to need to be resilient.
"I thought at the weekend they were excellent. They're young lads who are really receptive.
"Young players are important. You've got to give them the chance to make a career for themselves and you've got to persevere with it and trust them.
"You've got to give them that belief they can go and do it - and that they're going to come through it. You've got to see the big picture.
"If we can keep everybody together for a few years then we'll be definitely be up there."
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