Ben Cabango savoured the pressure of playing at a higher level as the defender made his first start for Swansea City Under-23s in Monday’s crucial Premier League Cup victory over Burnley.
The 17-year-old Welsh centre-back, who made his debut for the development side during a 45-minute spell at the end of last season, helped the young Swans secure a vital 1-0 win that saw them progress to the last 16 of the competition.
And Cabango, who joined the Swans Academy four years ago and has played 19 games for the under-18s so far this campaign, believes he could thrive if given more opportunities with the under-23s.
“It was great to get the opportunity to step up a level,” Cabango said.
“It was my first start for the under-23s and it was a pleasure to play with them in such an important cup game.
“There was pressure on us, but I feel I perform better when under pressure.
“The intensity and tempo of the game was the biggest difference. Burnley played a very aggressive game and you could feel the intensity of it being a cup match because everyone was fighting for the win.
“All the players helped me, but I expected to continue the performances I deliver for the under-18s, and I felt I did that.
“I am fighting to earn a professional contract at Swansea, so I hope I can get more game-time with the under-23s because this is the level I want to get to.
“This season has been a big step for me. I feel I am learning lots and, if I keep my performances and form up, hopefully there will be a few more games to come.”