Nigel Pearson believes that youngster Omar Taylor-Clarke was 'outstanding' for Bristol City in their 2-0 defeat to Swansea City.
The 19-year-old was given his first competitive start for the Robins, and played 77 minutes before being brought off for Kane Wilson straight after Olivier Ntcham doubled the Swans' lead.
Taylor-Clarke made his debut for Bristol City in January, coming on as a substitute in their FA Cup replay, and has made several more cameo appearances since. The Newport-born midfielder came on against West Brom and Manchester City in the FA Cup, and also got a chance off the bench against both Blackpool and Luton in the league.
In the absence of Joe Williams, Kal Naismith and Matty James in midfield, Taylor-Clarke jumped at the opportunity and conducted himself well, putting in a respectable shift, despite being on the losing side. James and Naismith are expected to return after the international break but the Welshman will be pushing for further involvement in the team before the season concludes.
"I thought he was outstanding," said Pearson when asked of his assessment of the youngsters performance. I don't think people will know him at all and he gets opportunities because our numbers are low at the moment."
Defeat in Swansea has Pearson's side 14th with eight games remaining, and they are in the middle of both a play-off push and a relegation fight, with 12 points separating them each way. A positive run of form in January and February had made a top-six finish a possibility, but an injury crisis has made that difficult.
It's three defeats in five league matches now, and in that period they have drawn blanks in four of their matches. The 2-0 win over struggling Blackpool last Saturday was the only time they had scored. The run of form however is largely down to a lack of bodies with the likes of Andy King playing more games than expected, whilst Cam Pring has had to move from his settled position at left-back into a centre-back.
Kal Naismith, Matty James and Tommy Conway are expected to return when the international break is over, whilst Tomas Kalas could return shortly after. Joe Williams and Rob Atkinson are ruled out for the remainder of the campaign however with hamstring and knee problems. City have resisted the urge to dip in to the free-agent market and have instead opted to bring players through their academy.
Pearson said: "I was saying in another interview I wouldn't swap that because it's created some opportunities. We've picked some injuries up that we've preferred not to have but we've got an opportunity now just to reset and try and finish the season as strongly as we can."
"Hopefully we'll have two or three more players who will complement what is a talented squad we had out there today. I just look forward to the rest of the season."