Thrown in for his first Sky Bet Championship start of the season at the City Ground, Michael Olise produced an eye-catching display against Nottingham Forest – and drew the praise from his manager.
And that wasn’t just because of his range of passing, ability in dribbling and mesmerising footwork in tight areas – all of which we’re coming to expect.
It was the other side of his game that really stood out – an aptitude for doing the defensive side of the game and putting in the hard yards for the good of the team.
“I felt it was the right time to give Michael a go – he is such a talented player and he can do anything in his career,” said manager Mark Bowen.
“I said to him after the game that I’d probably done him a disservice by not using him more before now. With younger players, I use that word – ‘trust’.
“I have to trust them to put them in the work – not trust them with the ball, because Michael is a massively talented player – but trust him to do the job out of possession.
“I said to him at the final whistle: ‘I know I can trust you now’, because of the shift of work he put in. Defensively, he showed he was years ahead of his time.
“That’s not just what he does on the ball, but also his work-rate and intelligence – and he had a lot of help from Chris Gunter too, in terms of the information he was getting from behind, which was important.
“But that’s the thing with these young players – if you can’t trust them to do their jobs when the opposition have the ball, they don’t get in the side. But he showed me he can do that.”