Premier League test a valuable experience for Ben Cabango
Ben Cabango believes spending 90 minutes combating Premier League strike duo Danny Welbeck and Andre Gray has helped him bank valuable experience.
The 19-year-old made only his third appearance for the Swans in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road, which saw Sam Surridge cancel out Welbeck’s opener before Roberto Pereyra’s late winner.
Cool and composed while under pressure and with the ball at his feet, Cabango found himself trying to snuff out England international Danny Welbeck – a winner of all domestic trophies with Manchester United and Arsenal – and Gray, the Hornets’ £18.5million signing from Burnley.
The centre-back, who was praised by head coach Steve Cooper in his post-match media interviews, feels the experience will benefit him hugely as he looks to develop.
“Playing against a Premier League team at a Premier League stadium was really nerve-wracking at first, but after my first couple of passes I got into the game,” said the Swans Academy graduate.
“It was a brilliant experience playing against two established Premier League strikers - Danny Welbeck and Andre Gray. I learnt a lot from the 90 minutes and I hope to just keep improving.
“It was a decent performance from myself, not my best, but hopefully I will pick up some more minutes as the season progresses.
“Every match I play boosts my confidence so hopefully I’ll pick up some minutes in the Championship too.”
The visitors looked to be taking the game to a penalty shootout at Vicarage Road, only for Pereyra’s late finish to send the Hornets through.
It could have been a different outcome had Connor Roberts’ goal-bound effort not been cleared off the line by Christian Kabasele in the second half.
Despite the defeat, Cabango believes the Swans will take a lot of positives from the performance.
“I think it was a great performance from ourselves. We went to a Premier League side and played really well,” he said.
“We started the game off well and played our style of football, playing out from the back, playing through the thirds. The performance was testament to the boys and the gaffer.
“We really made it difficult for Watford at times and that just shows how much we have developed this season. At times, we looked like the Premier League side.
“Unfortunately, the result didn’t go our way but I’m really proud of the boys and delighted with the performance. We can take a lot from the game and take that into the league.