Crewe Alexandra boss David Artell admits that he didn’t actually realise that he handed winger Owen Dale his full league debut against Salford City at the weekend.
Dale, 20, had made 28 appearances as an impact substitute and had started two League Cup games for the club – but Saturday’s 4-1 win over Salford was his full league debut.
Artell has praised the youngster’s professional and says that he thoroughly deserved his outing in the first-team.
He said: “I didn’t realise that it was Owen’s full league debut but he was fully deserving of it. He has come off the bench a number of times and done well and he has played well in the Carabao Cup against Middlesbrough and Aston Villa.
“He has been rewarded for that and he deserves all the plaudits he has received. He is a real top professional for a young lad. He is committed to his profession and is a thinker about the game.
The boss added: “Owen has to keep on working hard and having an effect in games. He knows that he has to create and score goals to stay in the team, as well as do his defensive side of the game.”