George Thomason and MJ Williams are moving with the times to keep themselves at the front of the first team picture at Wanderers.
Two of Ian Evatt’s longest-serving players, the midfield duo boast a 100 per cent record in the five games they have started alongside each other in all competitions this season.
The pair shone again in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Lincoln City and Evatt says their success has been down to a refusal to fall behind some of the other midfield competitors in the squad.
“They are both playing really, really well,” he said. “They are both training really, really well.
“Both of those players train like it is their last training session every single day and they are taking that into games.
“The challenge from footballers, and especially ones who have been here for a long time, the team is progressing and evolving all the time and there is different personnel coming in every transfer window. But they shouldn’t feel down about that competition.
“They have to step up to the plate and improve themselves, and I think those two in particular are up for the challenge and continuously improving against anyone we keep bringing in.
“We have got some fantastic players in the middle of the pitch. Josh Sheehan not even on the bench today, we have got Aaron Morley - who has been a fantastic young player - not involved, Demps didn’t start today.
“It is hugely competitive but it is a player’s job and responsibility to continuously improve, and those two – the rest of the squad should really look at them. They have been here a long time, more or less since day one.
“They have risen as we have risen, and they keep growing and improving. I am delighted with them both.”
Thomason’s progress since the summer has been rapid. Evatt says his hard work in the gym has paid off, ensuring his technical ability can now also be matched with the right physique and fitness to handle life in League One.
“He’s been eating dumbbells for breakfast,” the manager joked. “George has always understood the tactical detail we require. He has always had the technical aspect. But what he has done is improve physically.
“He has always been a confident boy, he is a fantastic young man. He has become a leader on the pitch and he has just lived in the gym for six months and got himself into a condition – he is able to do exactly what we need him to do in that position.
“Funnily enough, I had this conversation with the B Team after Man United beat us 7-0 and Jaden Sancho was playing, [Alejandro] Garnacho was playing. These lads have been £80million internationals.
“We have to hold our hands up and say we might never be that good technically, but what can we do for free as good as them? Physically, we can make sure we live properly, we can eat correctly, live in the gym and make sure we are fitter than Sancho.
“I think that is what George has done, he has made sure that he is in the best possibly physical condition to do the job that we require him to do. Great example for everybody else.”