Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca has urged young defender Ben Nelson to be “more brave” and not fear mistakes after making his full league debut.
The centre-half made his first-team bow in January’s FA Cup win over Millwall and had made two substitute appearances in the league before Saturday.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Nelson told BBC Radio Leicester.
“The teams we’ve played in the FA Cup have all been Championship sides, but the intensity and the pressure [in the league], it’s a bigger game.”
City had to withstand late pressure as Watford sought an equaliser, but Nelson’s approach impressed his boss Maresca.
“In training, day in and day out, he wants me to play the ball forward more and start the attacks and not always take the easier option,” said Nelson.
“So if I do make the mistakes, I’ve just got to keep going and that’s what he wants. It’s great to have the manager behind you.
“I’m always looking through the clips from the games that I’ve played for stuff that I can do better, little tweaks, marginal differences that are going to make my performances better.”
Maresca agreed that the academy graduate should take getting into the team ahead of former England international Coady as a compliment.
“Yes, absolutely, but sometimes the manager is there to make decisions,” said Maresca.
“Sometimes they are good decisions, sometimes they are not good, but it’s the way in this moment that I see things.
“I’m happy, and I think he can be even better, much better than today. On the ball he can be more brave – he’s a little bit shy, but he’s [going] in the right direction.”
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