TEEN winger Julien Lamy has played his way into contention for his long-awaited Rotherham United first-team debut.
The French flyer has been an unused substitute for the last five matches because manager Paul Warne didn't believe he was ready to be pitched into senior action.
But the 19-year-old has trained well for the last fortnight after recovering from a serious leg injury and scored in an impressive midweek outing for the reserves to thrust himself into Warne's thinking for Saturday's League One home encounter with Coventry City.
“He's had a good couple of weeks,” the boss said. “If the opportunity arises on Saturday to put him on, I'll have a lot more confidence in making that decision.
“If he trains well over the next two days, he might be able to play a part off the bench.
Even if he doesn't feature this weekend, Lamy is a likely starter on Tuesday against Doncaster Rovers in the EFL Trophy at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
“I've always marked that as one where he can play,” Warne said.
“The ressies game was important for him. We'd been trying to get him to play one earlier but had been hit by the weather. He had to sharpen his match-fitness.
“Hammy (coach Matt Hamshaw) has being doing a lot of work with him individually. We needed a game to get him up to speed because he’s just come through a bad injury. Some days he didn’t look that confident in himself. He’s taken on all the information we have given him, which is vital. He now looks more selectable.”
Lamy joined the club at the start of the season after a successful trial only to suffer a serious leg injury in his first friendly match in early July.
Only now has he done enough to show Warne he is ready in mind and body to test himself at senior level.
“His pace and athleticism could be crucial to us,” the boss said. “But it’s no use having a speedboat with no driver. He also has to do what we want him to do without the ball. We can’t carry anyone. Everyone has to have a work ethic.
“None of our staff are fluent in French so I’m not sure the message has always got through to him. We’re trying to incorporate him. People forget he’s a young lad who speaks a different language. It takes a long time to settle down and feel part of it.
“We had really good news with him this week. He played in the reserves and did really well. We're really pleased with him.”