Oliver Greaves came back into the fold for Barrow AFC in their win against Sutton United just over a week ago and his manager Ian Evatt has said he’s prepared to be patient as the youngster adapts to senior football.

Greaves, who turned 20 on the day of the Bluebirds’ 1-0 victory over the Us, signed on loan from Premier League club Sheffield United during the summer, but he has found first-team action hard to come by of late.

His appearance as a substitute against Sutton was his first since a late cameo at Chorley on September 24, with midfielders Jason Taylor, John Rooney and Lewis Hardcastle proving very difficult to shift in the starting line-up.

As yet, Greaves hasn’t been able to make a similar impact to his fellow Blades Tyler Smith and Rhys Norrington-Davies, who both excelled during their spells at Holker Street last season.

Evatt said: “People and characters are different. We had Tyler and Rhys from Sheffield United last season and both were completely different characters to Oli.

“Both were definitely more mature, in a football aspect and a mental aspect. They were men and ready to play men’s football.

“Oli’s slightly different because he’s had a bad injury at Sheffield United to overcome and he’s only ever been used to playing under-23s football.

“He’s smaller in stature and he’s a gentler personality, so it’s going to take him some time to react. He is learning all the time about the men’s game and how you’re not always going to get your own way.

“You need to fight for your place, you need to train properly and you need to be 100 per cent peddle to the metal every day to get in the manager’s eye and earn your opportunity to play and he’s getting better at that.”

Greaves impressed at times during pre-season, not least with his stunning free kick at Lancaster City, but found himself in and out of the side in the opening month of the campaign proper before having several games when he wasn’t even in the matchday squad.

He did, however, hint that a steelier side to his game could be developing when he came on against Sutton and helped an injury-hit and jaded Barrow side graft and hold on for their ninth win in ten league games.

When asked whether he felt Greaves had toughened up, Evatt said: “You have to because this league in unforgiving, this more than any other.

“There are some big, physical units and physical teams in this division and you do need to stand up for yourselves and that’s what pleased me the most when he came on.

“The boys were stood up for themselves in the game and kept out fighting, kept on grafting - even with nine men, you had Byron [Harrison] coming back to centre-half. You had Greavsie and Morgan [Penfold] playing in a deeper role in midfield - fighting, scrapping and pressing - and they were doing anything to claim three points.”