Matt Gill hopes the jump made by a number of Under-23s to the first-team fold this season spurs his other youngsters on.
Jamal Lewis, Todd Cantwell and Adam Phillips have all spent time in and around Daniel Farke’s squad since the season began and Gill has urged his other players to try and make the step up.
“We’ve had Toddy and Adam on the bench for the first-team, Jamal is back and looks as if he’s going to be in and around the first-team squad,” he said.
“For our group it’s excellent that we’ve had a few lads getting involved with the first-team and staying in there.
“That’s what it’s about for us and we need to make sure we have the next two of three players lined up and ready to make that step.”
Gill’s U23s host Premier League 2 Division 2 leaders Middlesbrough at Colney on Sunday (12pm) and the Head Coach wants his player to relish the occasion.
Boro ran out 4-0 winners when the two sides last met in August.
“We’re really looking forward to a tough game on Sunday,” added Gill. “They’re flying high at the top of the league and it will be a really good test.
“[The reverse fixture] was the second game of our season and we conceded four very quick goals. The response in that game was excellent and that’s become a bit of a theme throughout our season so far.
“Some of the stuff we did early on in that game, I wouldn’t expect us to do it now. It will be tough because they’ve got lots of quality but the lads are looking forward to it."