for the Reserves, there are not usually thousands of people around. It was a great atmosphere – even when you’re out there beforehand the ground is filling up and you can feel the volume rising.
Were you aware that your inclusion had sparked a real buzz on social media?
It was a bit weird. All my mates were texting me. I was in the squad for the Aston Villa game and also the Bayern Munich match at Old Trafford, but didn’t get on the bench. Obviously, I was a substitute at Newcastle because of injuries and Danny Welbeck being rested.
After getting so close, how much are you relishing making your debut at some future point?
Hopefully, it’s not too far off. It would be great and it’s what you work towards. Every time, I just think, ‘I could be in that first team.’ It would be great to get a few minutes on the pitch and a real experience to see how different the games are, and the pace of it. I need to see how I deal with the atmosphere, the pressure and other factors.
Would you still set yourself a target of scoring in that game?
Yes, I probably would! Even in training, if you miss a chance, it matters. It is a lot more demanding with the first team, obviously.
Do you think you can be an inspiration to the younger players who are also hoping to make the breakthrough?
Yes, I think a few of the younger lads in my digs are asking things and, obviously, as a boy, I used to look up to lads when I was their age. The roles are reversed now and I know what it is like to be in that situation.
Your aim must be to get into the squad for this summer’s pre-season tour. Will any international commitments affect that?
I don’t think so. The England Under-19s’ next qualifying