Ben Wilmot backed to build on derby display
Matt Grimes is backing Ben Wilmot to grab his chance to shine for Swansea City with both hands.
The 19-year-old defender wrote his name into South Wales derby folklore last weekend as his first senior goal proved enough to seal a 1-0 win over Cardiff City.
It came on his first league start for the club following his loan move from Watford.
The teenager has had to bide his time with Joe Rodon and Mike van der Hoorn in such good form, but the former’s ankle tendon injury means there is an opportunity for Wilmot to feature regularly.
And captain Grimes says the hard work put in on the training pitch and the squad mentality under Steve Cooper mean the former Stevenage man is well equipped for the challenge.
“Since Ben first walked through the door during pre-season, he’s been fantastic,” said Grimes.
“He’s had to bide his time and wait for his chance. Obviously, Joe and Mike have been brilliant this year, so it’s been difficult for him.
“But he works hard on the training pitch every day and that sums up what we’re doing as a squad.
“If the first 11 aren’t quite at it, we’ve got players who can step in and make a difference.
“I’m so pleased for him after Cardiff; he deserves it and I have no doubt he will make the most of any chance he gets.”
The Swans head to the DW Stadium to face Wigan on Saturday looking to build on derby success and put a sequence of results together.
And Grimes has made clear it will be unacceptable if Swansea do not seek to reach the levels of intensity shown against Cardiff over forthcoming games.
“There’s no point in putting in a performance like this and then being disappointing the week after,” he said.
“It’s a process; the players and the gaffer haven’t been together for too long – it’s only 14 games in the league.
“We just need to keep building and progressing and, hopefully, it can take us far."