HEREFORD manager Josh Gowling heaped praise on young loanee Luke Haines after a successful defensive display against Leamington during a goal-less draw.

It was the 20-year-old midfielders second game since arriving back at Edgar Street for another loan spell.

"Luke has dropped in there and been excellent," said Gowling.

"The good thing is they're listening to what we are doing in training and all the lads know each position so they can just slot into areas and it's not too much of a change.

"We knew it was going to be a tight budget and small squad so we can't really bring specialists in.

"We need players who can fill in multiple positions. It is great that we've got someone like Luke who can fill in at right-back, centre half or midfield.

"We've got good versatility in the squad even though it's a small squad.

"We've been trying to get Luke back to a while and he played midfield the other day and slotted in at centre half.

"He stood up to the battle which is really pleasing especially at his age.

"It's like welcome to non-league football the game today (against Leamington).

"He stood up really well, he's organised, he leaps well and is good on the ball as well.

"Playing him at centre half he's composed on the ball which is really good."

Fellow youngster George Forsyth also made his first Hereford start and Gowling said the new signing gave his side 'steel'.

"I thought he just gave us that bit of steel in midfield which was what we wanted really," Gowling added.

"Coming to a place like this (Leamington) we knew how the game was going to be and took James (McQuilkin) out and put him in for that bit of steel and Giles (Coke) for that bit of physicality.

"He hasn't played much football so towards the end we had to bring him off.

"We missed that defensive midfielder and steel. He reads the game well and helped the two centre halves well and fills in well.

"We have brought George in for that reason to add that bit of steel in front of that back four."