Owen Bailey admitted he enjoyed being one of the more senior heads in Rovers’ back line against Newport County - at the ripe old age of 24.
Bailey lined up alongside Tom Nixon and debutant Jay McGrath for the game, with veteran Tommy Rowe bringing the average age up at left back.
The north east native has relished the opportunity to demonstrate his leadership skills and help guide the likes of Nixon and McGrath in their early steps in senior football.
“It makes me feel old as well,” he said. “Luckily Rowey was there because he’s even older than me.
“It’s something I quite enjoy.I’m only a couple of years older than the lads but being older, I try to help them as much as I can.
“I talk and try to bring my leadership qualities to the back four. Hopefully I did that.
“I really enjoyed it. I think the lads worked well together. We’ve conceded a lot of goals but I think we were really solid.
“We’ve done a lot of work through the week on how to nullify their threats and how we can be good as a team and defend well from back to front. On the whole, we did it apart from one chance at the end.”
Bailey was impressed with the performance of recent arrival McGrath on his senior debut for the club.
“Jay was really good,” he said. “He’s still only a young lad, which is important to remember. But he’s got a great left foot, he’s strong and physical and really good in the air. He’s comfortable on the ball.
“It was a great start from him and I’m buzzing for him. Hopefully he can kick on from here, build on that performance and stay in the team.”