Date: 28th September 2017 at 5:58pm
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Youngster Chris Mepham has been speaking about Dean Smith’s ‘trust’ in the next generation as we go into the clash against Middlesbrough this weekend.

Having made his Championship debut coming on as a half time substitute against Derby County for the injured Andreas Bjelland, Mepham spoke with the Official Site this week to reflect on his bow, and he felt it was all credit to Smith as he’s not afraid to put his trust in youngsters.

‘It was a good draw to earn right at the end. 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.’

Coming into the finely balanced game at the half time break wasn’t ideal, but he felt he coped with it well and grew into the match.

‘I didn’t have a lot of notice that I would be going on. 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.’

With the 19 year old coming close to opening his goalscoring account on the day, he admitted he didn’t know much about it as the ball came in from the corner.

‘I didn’t really see it. 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.’

With youngsters being relied upon by the coaching staff this year, he went on to say.

‘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.’

Looking forward, he’s now hoping he doesn’t have to wait too long for his full debut.

‘I’m definitely ready. 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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