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Mepham impressed by 'amount of trust' in youngsters

Defender talks to iFollow after league debut from the bench

28 September 2017

Chris Mepham came on to make his league debut in the 1-1 draw with Derby on Tuesday night. After the match, where he faced strong opposition, he spoke to iFollow to talk about his night.

"It was a good draw to earn right at the end," said Chris. "Especially with the way we got the equaliser, I think it makes it seem like it was a win. We would've been really hard done by if we didn't get at least a point today.

"Although we should have come away with three, I think the manager will be happy with the one. Under the circumstances, I think you would take the point here."

Being introduced to the game after 45 minutes is never an easy task, especially when the match was as finely balanced as the match on Tuesday night. 

"I didn't have a lot of notice that I would be going on," said Chris. "So I went in at half time and I heard Andreas was struggling. Even then, I didn't know whether I'd be coming on or not.

"Once I knew, you have to quickly prepare yourself and obviously you don't want to take too long settling in. I think it was good to get the first couple of passes out of the way and then ease my way into the game. I think, by the end of it, I looked more confident and was my normal self."

The 19-year-old could have got himself in the history books by latching onto a corner kick only a few minutes into his Championship debut. Instead, the ball fizzed wide of the target, something Chris says he knew very little about until the crucial moment.

"I didn't really see it," Chris laughed. "I headed the ball facing away from the goal so I didn't know where it went. I was just waiting for a roar from the fans, which unfortunately didn't come. It was disappointing not to get on the scoresheet but I think the most important thing is helping the team. In the end, it wasn't the best of goals but goals change games and here we got a late point."

Asked about the willingness of the coaching staff to bring young players into games, Chris said: "It just shows the amount of trust the manager has in B Team players in general. We've seen a few of us make our debuts this year, Ilias has played all three cup games and Justin has come on.

"It's pleasing to know that the manager is confident enough in you to throw you on at half time against a good Derby team with plenty of ex-Premier League players. I think that's massive for your confidence as a player."

Now the Welsh youth international says he is ready for more action, if the team needs him.

"I'm definitely ready," said Chris. "I've just got to take each game as it comes. You never know what is going to happen on Saturday, you don't know how Andreas is going to be - hopefully he's fine. I'll prepare myself as if I might be called upon. You have to make sure that when you are called upon, you go out there and show the manager why he should select you."


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