west brom’s ferguson ‘playing tough’ under new boss bilic

08:30    07 Aug 2019

West Bromwich Albion's Nathan Ferguson

West Bromwich Albion youngster Nathan Ferguson says he is happy to “play tough” and continue maturing under new manager Slaven Bilic.

The 18-year-old put in a man-of-the-match performance on his Baggies debut in Saturday’s 2-1 opening-day victory at Nottingham Forest.

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Ferguson is a centre-half by trade but was used at right-back by Bilic in the new boss’s first competitive game in charge.

The youngster said: “I feel like I’ve matured, especially with the new gaffer coming in and giving me chances in pre-season to prove myself.

“I’m just happy to be given the chance and will keep working hard.”

When asked what Bilic wanted to see from him, Ferguson replied: “Just to be yourself and play tough, that’s what he told me.

“He said ‘It’s going to be hard and you’ll have to work for it’ and I said ‘OK’.

“He’s a great manager. I’m usually a centre-back so he’s been able to morph me into a right-back.

“He’s seen qualities in me that I’m happy he’s seen and I’ve been able to show them off such as my speed and running with the ball.

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“He put me there after training and worked on different offence and defensive qualities.”

The teenager said he was was pleased to help his side get their Championship campaign off to a positive start.

“I don’t look into that (the performance) really,” Ferguson added. “I’m just happy we got the three points, especially on a debut it’s good to get three points for the lads.

“We definitely deserved to win. We worked hard, pre-season has been tough but it’s for moments like this, isn’t it? Winning games and getting three points.

“It was great. The fans that travelled – ‘thank you’. It was a great experience.”


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