Lewis Collins admits he ‘loved every moment’ of his Football League debut against Crewe Alexandra at Rodney Parade.
The 18-year old has already featured for the Exiles in the CheckaTrade Trophy twice – against Cheltenham Town in 2017/18 and Chelsea U23s last season – but now he’s featured in League Two.
Entering proceedings with five minute to play, Collins had a huge impact in the outcome of the game after generally making a nuisance of himself and getting involved in the stoppage time match winner.
Collins beautifully cut the ball back for fellow substitute George Nurse, he found Tristan Abrahams who squared for Padraig Amond to tap home in the 93rd minute.
Here, you can read everything Collins exclusively told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the contest…
On making his Football League debut…
"I’m over the moon. For the gaffer to have the faith to put me on – even if it’s only for the last five minutes – is pleasing.
"To come on, be involved in the goal was a great experience and I loved every single minute of it.
"I just had to run around really. The gaffer told me to stay high, cause trouble in behind. There wasn’t much to do but when the ball came to me, luckily kept it then played in Nursey and it led to the goal."
On maintaining the long unbeaten Football League run…
"It’s the fighting spirit we’ve got in the changing room. Everyone wants it and there’s not one person who doesn’t want to win.
"That shows every game. Even against Walsall, it was the fact of not losing. We may have sat off, but we didn’t lose and kept that unbeaten run going.
"We’ve started the season unbelievably, got the points we needed, and they’ve all been very solid performances.
"It’s very, very early in the season so you can’t judge anything yet. But we’re 5th in the table, maybe could have been higher as well, and what we’ve done to start the season has been very good, very strong."
On trying to feature more regularly for the first team…
"I know where I stand at the moment and I’m watching the boys from the side-lines. We’ve got very strong players this year, a very deep squad and it’s good to see.
"When you look at the squad and you see how much competition there is, I’ve got to earn my place just as everyone else has.
"The boys are doing a very, very good job so far."
On the prospect of facing West Ham United on Tuesday night…
"The way we’re playing at the moment defensively, not conceding goals, everything looks positive.
"We welcome anyone here to Rodney Parade because we know what we can do.
"We’ve proven in the past that money and football doesn’t really make the biggest difference. We’ve had Leeds United, Leicester City, Middlesbrough, we’ve had them all here and we’ve done a job on all of them. That doesn’t mean anything."