As Sir Alex Ferguson experimented with Manchester United’s future talent in Europe last night Larnell Cole is taking his call-up to the first-team in his stride as he aims for consistency.
The 19-year-old midfielder joined the Reds’ travelling party to Galatasaray after promising stints in the reserve squad and was rewarded with a first-team nod.
And although the possibility of breaking into United’s bustling midfield remains unlikely this season, he is hoping to continue is bright form with the U-21 squad while picking up invaluable experience with the full team.
“I’m just aiming to get a good run of form going and to stay fit,” he told the club’s official website. “I had a knee injury towards the end of last season that carried on into this campaign.
“I was still feeling it in training and so I missed out on the tour, which was unfortunate and a shame because it would have been a great experience.
“So I want to keep my form and consistency going.”
Cole is boosted by playing against Premier League regulars in the reserve squad and finds pleasure in having to raise his game.
“We’re coming up against men and a lot of players who have experience of the Premier League,” he added. “Therefore, it’s always difficult and you have to step your game up as we’re often playing against a strong team.”
Fergie took a largely untested squad to Turkey having already sealed United’s place in the Champions League knockout stages.
And Cole – who captained the reserves for the first time against Tranmere Rovers – has vowed to continue developing his ability and maturity with the more responsibility he is given.
“It was the first time I’d captained the reserves,” he said. “It’s no different really as you just have to play your normal game.
“Obviously, there is added pressure but you just have to focus on playing well and trying to show everybody else the right things to do by leading by example.”