11:05 16th February 2017
Paul Lambert says that Connor Ronan is thriving in the first team environment.
The 18-year-old was the stand-out performer during Tuesday nights’ defeat to Wigan Athletic - he has also impressed in his two other starts against Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley.
Lambert is hoping that Ronan has a big part to play in the future of the club.
"He’s a big talent coming through,” Lambert began.
"He’s been terrific in the three games he’s played for us.
"His general game is really good and he’s only 18. Again, the club’s unearthed a talent who, touch wood, has a big part in the future of this club.
"He’s one of those kids that I’ve got to the stage where I think – and it’s the same when you watch the under-23s as well – you know exactly what you’re getting from him.
"When he doesn’t perform, that’s a shock. He’s created that himself. He’s comfortable in the first team environment and he thriving on it.
"The players know how good he is and he has the respect of the senior guys, which is important. They know he can play and he’s a terrific passer and has his set plays.
"It’s the same with Bright (Enobakhare), Harry (Burgoyne) and Morgan (Gibbs-White). Connor was excellent.
"The physical presence is deceiving. He’s a really strong-bodied young player.
"Facially he looks a baby and the size and height of him...but if you see him up close he’s very powerful in the legs and his body is strong."
Lambert has also confirmed that Romain Saiss is part of his plans.
The Moroccan recently returned from to African Cup of Nations after playing 4 times in the competition.
The gaffer says that Saiss is a good player and that he will get his chance to stake his claim for a place in the side.
"Everybody has been playing well and Romain has come back from the African Cup of Nations where he played a few games.
"It’s tough because the lads who have been here, have been performing and deserve to be in the side.
"Romain’s a good player but he just has to bide his time the way other people have done.
"He’s very much part of it but I can only pick so many.
"There’s a lot of competition. And it’s difficult to drop him back into it. We’ve got a lot of games coming up – his time will come.
"But I’ve got to be fair to the lads that have got us this far as well, the lads who’ve performed."