Roberto De Zerbi has been impressed by the fearlessness his young players have shown and is particularly happy with Evan Ferguson’s impact.
The 18-year-old Republic of Ireland international came on for the final ten minutes against Charlton Athletic last week and scored his penalty in the shootout, as Albion lost 4-3 at the Valley after a goalless draw in 90 minutes.
“He played well,” De Zerbi said about the striker. “He is very young, but a very good player. I would like to let him to play more, I don't know how much time in the game [against Southampton] but I would like to give him the possibility to play.
“For me [his ability] was a surprise, because I knew him, but during this recent period I have got to know him better.”
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Like Ferguson, Roberto wants his young players to be fearless when given their opportunity.
“I always encourage the young players more. I want the younger players to not think about making a mistake, they don't have to be afraid, they have to enjoy playing. [They need to] enjoy being on the pitch.
“[Julio] Enciso was born in 2004 and is a good player. But in training he is different to when he's in a game, and this is my responsibility. I want him to play in the game like he is in training.”