ANTHONY O’Connor can see why everyone connected with City is getting excited about Reece Staunton.

The teenager has slotted in confidently to the back three as Stuart McCall works with the adage, “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough”.

Working alongside him, O’Connor insists his 18-year-old teammate is already looking the part despite his lack of senior experience.

“In terms of his footballing ability, it’s there for all to see,” he said. “Reece is a good passer of the ball and hopefully his defending will get better and better with more games.

“You can’t expect too much of him, (Saturday) was only his second start this season, but he hasn’t looked out of place.

“He’s got us sitting next to him and telling him what to do and helping him every step of the way. It’s the same in training.

“He’s a quiet boy, he doesn’t open his mouth much, he just comes in and gets on with his business but hopefully as the season goes on, he’ll get more and more confident and come out of his shell a bit more.

“He’s been really good since he’s come in and hopefully he can go on now and have a really good season and a really good career.”

McCall has suggested there could be changes for tonight’s Carabao Cup second-round tie against Lincoln at Valley Parade.

Levi Sutton is still suspended but the Bantams boss otherwise has a full squad to choose from. Harry Pritchard, Clayton Donaldson and Tyler French could all be in contention for a start.

Staunton has so far usurped Ben Richards-Everton in the role as the left-sided centre half in the back three and O’Connor has been impressed with his confidence in possession.

“To be able to play in that formation your outside centre-halves need to be able to take the ball and be able to step into midfield to create extra men in midfield and that’s what the gaffer has been working on with us.

“That’s not to say that any of the other lads can’t do it, I just think the gaffer has seen something in Reece in pre-season.

“He’s got a nice left foot and he can play the ball, play them nice passes and put balls into the box when he’s further up the pitch.”

A feature of the early games has been the emergence of the academy products within the ranks – something that has not happened enough in recent years.

Jorge Sikora, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Kian Scales and Connor Shanks all got a run-out in the EFL Trophy at Doncaster and McCall’s handling of Staunton shows they will be in his thoughts during the season.

O’Connor added: “If you’ve got the footballing ability, the gaffer will gladly put you in. He’s not scared to as you can see with Reece.

“Reece probably wasn’t expecting to come into the team so quickly but the gaffer has seen he’s got something and put him straight into the team. That’s credit to the boss, he’s seen that Reece is so comfortable with the first-team lads.

“The young boys have been really good since the first day of pre-season. They were running around like mad, especially when we were doing a lot of running sessions, I think they were eager to impress.

“We knew they were good footballers but the way they’ve come in and taken no prisoners. You can hear them saying, ‘Give me the ball, I want the ball.’ We thought they might be a bit shy and might not open their mouths a bit.

“If you were a random person coming to training you probably wouldn’t recognise which ones were the young lads.

“I know Reece is the one that’s everyone’s talking about because he’s the one in the starting XI but the other lads have been really good as well, especially in training.”