Hull manager Phil Brown believes the rapid rise of teenage midfielder Tom Cairney is further proof the club is healthier than ever despite their relegation battle.
Cairney, 19, made his debut in last weekend's 2-2 draw with relegation rivals Wolves and impressed sufficiently to keep his place when title-chasing Chelsea came to town on Tuesday.
The Nottingham-born youngster produced another excellent performance in the 1-1 draw with Carlo Ancelotti's side and can have high hopes of starting again when Manchester City come to the KC Stadium despite growing competition for places.
Though the club sit third from bottom in the Barclays Premier League, Brown believes the emergence of Cairney and steady progress of fellow youngsters Liam Cooper and Mark Cullen is evidence of a positive future for the cash-strapped club.
He said: "Tom Cairney, in the light of Jimmy Bullard's long-term injury and one or two falling by the wayside in terms of form and then Seyi Olofinjana going to the African Nations Cup, has grabbed his chance.
"It's a long-term plan. With Tom, Liam Cooper and Mark Cullen, the future of the club is looking a lot more healthy than it ever has done when you've got two or three knocking at the door. They are all local boys as well."