Osman: Lawrence Unfazed
Wednesday, 7th Dec 2011 13:58
Russell Osman says 15-year-old schoolboy Byron Lawrence wasn’t the least bit fazed by facing players in some cases three years older than him during last night’s 2-0 FA Youth Cup victory over Leeds. The Cambridgeshire-based youngster, who recently signed a two-year scholarship with the Blues starting next summer, impressed Town's U18s coach, although he says there are aspects of his game the midfielder needs to improve.
Osman said: “He wasn’t overpowered, wasn’t over-fazed. He’s very, very good isn’t he? He’s just got a little bit of learning to take on board about the side of the game when you haven’t got the ball.
“He’s a terrific player on the ball, very exciting, he has terrific ball retention skills, but when the team’s lost possession he has to do a little bit more for us every now and then. But it’s a learning curve for them all.”
Speaking last month, manager Paul Jewell said Lawrence, who was recruited from non-league Histon's youth set-up, could make the step up to first team level this season: “Byron Lawrence, the lad who was in the squad [for the Carling Cup match] against Northampton, he’s one who is a bright prospect and who reminds me of a Jack Wilshere-type player.
“He’s built that way, he uses his body and he’s a clever player. Whenever he trains with the first team he never looks out of place. He could feature this season.”
The Blues manager suggests the youngster, who qualifies to play international football for Italy as well as England, may even be a little cross he hasn’t already beaten Connor Wickham’s record of making his senior bow at 16 years and 11 days: “Put it this way, if I said to him now ‘you’re a sub on Saturday’, he’d be a bit annoyed that he was sub.
“That’s his attitude, he takes everything in his stride. He’s a good kid. I think he’ll be a very good player.”
Meanwhile, Blues striker Michael Chopra has been banned from driving for 56 days, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £80 costs and a £15 victim surcharge after admitting speeding at 106mph on the A12 near Colchester in September.
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