Manchester United academy coach Paul McGuiness has admitted it was a “shock” to see Cameron Borthwick-Jackson make his senior debut for the club.
Jackson came on as a late substitute in the 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion before the international break.
It was a huge moment for the 18-year-old, who performed admirably in the clash.
McGuiness praised Jackson and urged the youngster to push on following the opportunity.
“It was probably a bit of a shock and a shock for everybody else. It reminded me of a phrase Eric Harrison used to have for us when we were youngsters – don’t let it be a surprise when you play in the first-team,” McGuiness said.
“I think what he meant from that is you’ve got to be training every day and doing the right things, learning from all the experience in big games so, if you’re picked, it doesn’t surprise you. You’re good enough and you know you’re good enough because you’ve done everything right in training.
“I’m pleased to say Cameron did well for the 20-odd minutes he played and now he must use that as a springboard and an incentive to make sure he is training and playing games for the U21s right. If he does that, then nothing is a surprise. If he is doing everything absolutely right, there is a chance he can get more games.”
Asked about Jackson’s seemingly laid-back approach, McGuinness added: “You don’t know until it happens in that situation and he was thrown into it, sort of, at the last minute. I thought he coped pretty well but, of course, he has to build on that and the only way to do that is to have consistent performances in training and games with Warren [Joyce]’s group.”
Jackson is one of a number of youngsters that Louis van Gaal has promoted to the first-team in recent weeks. The likes of Axel Tuanzebe, Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira have also been involved in recent weeks and it is good to see van Gaal continue the club’s proud tradition of nurturing young talent.