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For a man with a mountain of experience, you could forgive Kevin Austin for feeling a little aggrieved at being bypassed by a couple of promising upstarts in the battle for a Boston United starting place.

Since beginning the season as one of the Pilgrims' first-choice centre-backs, Austin has fallen down the pecking order and faces a fight to reclaim his place in the side.

The former Lincoln City defender has been the victim as youngsters Tom Ward and Nathan Stainfield have shot to prominence with a series of impressive displays.

The pair have both partnered Alan White in the heart of defence in recent weeks, with Stainfield coming in for the injured Ward.

That has left Austin frozen out of first-team action, but the 38-year-old has no qualms about being confined to bench-warming duty.

Instead, he believes it is part of his duty as a veteran pro to pass on his pearls of wisdom.

"I think the two youngsters have been tremendous since they've come into the side," declared Austin.

"It's about trying to push them through as well because they'll be around for a lot longer than I will.

"There are all sorts of things I can pass on to them.

"The best thing I can tell them is to work hard at their game, which they are doing. They're improving with every game.

"If they keep that up, who knows where it will take them?"

The Pilgrims possess an intriguing mix of youth and experience.

Managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville have turned to the older heads following the shocking week which saw Boston tumble out of the FA Cup to Kidsgrove and lose 6-1 at Altrincham in Blue Square Bet North.

It is a ploy which has paid off, with back to back wins over Histon and Workington putting United's season back on course.

"You need a good balance between youth and experience and I think we've got that," added Austin.

"You need a bit of everything to be successful."

With White suspended, Austin will be hoping to return to the starting line-up against Colwyn Bay at York Street on Saturday.

The former Swansea defender played the final hour of last weekend's 2-1 victory over Workington after replacing the injured Canoville.

"It's been very frustrating because I want to be in the first team," confessed Austin.

"But if people in front of me are doing their jobs, there's not much I can do.

"You've just got to get your head down and try and get yourself back in the side."

Despite White's ban – for accumulating five yellow cards – Austin is not guaranteed to return to the side against the Welsh outfit.

Ward is set to be available again after recovering from a an ankle injury while Canoville expects to be fit after picking up a hamstring strain against Workington.

"I tweaked my hamstring stretching for the (Workington) goal," explained Canoville.

"But it's not a serious one. Hopefully it will settle down and I'll be available for Saturday."

The player-manager revealed he and Lee have had to hold back an eager Ward, who has been out since October 1.

"He wanted to train last Thursday and be involved on Saturday," added Canoville.

"He's a very keen young lad. But me and Jason both know that when you've had injuries, you need to be sensible.

"He wants to play, but if he comes back into the side and gets injured again, he'll be out for longer.

"We've looked after him and with two good sessions under his belt, he should be in contention for Saturday.

"But Nathan Stainfield did brilliant against Workington and put in a man-of-the-match performance.

"And Kevin Austin came on for me and was very solid as well. We've got good options."

Boston will be without Craig Armstrong, who has joined Hucknall Town.