It was a night to remember for youngster Lee Buchanan and manager Phillip Cocu was keen to heap praise on him after the defender sealed Derby County’s passage through to the second round of the Carabao Cup.
The defender drove forward with the ball before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the far corner to ensure the Rams beat Scunthorpe United 1-0.
And Cocu, who named five Academy graduates in the starting line up this evening, was pleased for 18-year-old Buchanan who was making his first start in professional football.
“It was a great performance first of all but to score the winner today is a great feeling for him and for the team of course,” he told RamsTV.
“It was a very good goal. To see his age and how he played, his ball possession and his positioning, he did extremely well.”
Buchanan was one of 11 changes which the manager made to his squad from the goalless draw against Swansea City on Saturday.
One player he did hand his debut to was Krystian Bielik who was signed on a permanent deal from Arsenal two weeks ago.
Whilst the 21-year-old had not played much football since the U21 European Championships with Poland, he stepped up and the manager believes he can get better and better.
“For Krystian, it was a good moment to play,” Cocu said. “We spoke before the game and we said let’s see how far he can get in the game.
“It is a bit easier in this position in the team as centre back, I think it’s easier than midfield for him.
“He did well and after 60 minutes he said he was okay and could finish the game which is good because it’s better to have 90 minutes and then focus on the training again.
“I’m happy for him and he played a very good game as well.”
After making 11 changes, the manager was keen to stress the importance of having a squad ready to make an impact should they be called upon.
“Jack Marriott was injured in pre-season, Mason Bennett has also had a small injury and it’s very important that we don’t just have one to 11,” he commented.
“We have a lot of players so if they train well and show me that they are ready with quality then everyone will play this season, as long as we all have one idea on how we play football.
“Today, we saw so many fans come to the game and we have to give them the maximum performance. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 35 and they did well.”