Phil Foden says he is not frustrated on the sidelines and sees Raheem Sterling as the perfect role model as he tries to establish himself in the Manchester City team.
The highly-rated Foden is still finding opportunities limited in City’s star-studded side but he played the full 90 minutes in Tuesday’s comfortable 3-0 Carabao Cup win at Preston.
Sterling, who was rested for last weekend’s Premier League thrashing of Watford, also started the third-round tie at Deepdale and opened the scoring with a fine solo effort.
Foden said: “Raheem, is just – every time I watch him, I think ‘wow’ and (he’s) a better player every time I see him.
“When he gets the ball he just glides past players and gets in the right places to score goals. He is always assisting.
“He has got a lot more to come and that is what is good about him, he is still young and improving and wanting to improve. He has high standards and that is the level he has set.
“He is a role model and he helps me out a lot, in the game and in training, and overall – helping me with my game, giving me tips and that is what a young lad needs coming through.”
Gabriel Jesus doubled City’s lead with a fine finish from a tight angle and an own goal from Ryan Ledson put the holders, bidding for a third successive triumph in the competition, 3-0 up at the break.
Their Championship opponents did hit a post in the second half through Josh Harrop, but City also hit the woodwork when Foden, recovered from the stomach virus that sidelined him last week, shot against the bar.
It was only Foden’s third appearance of the season – the other two being late substitute entrances in the Community Shield and last month’s opening Premier League win at West Ham – but the 19-year-old insists he is not getting impatient.
Asked if he was frustrated, he said: “No, I played here so that is the main thing. I am just looking forward, I am just trying to take my minutes any time they come and do my best. Any time I get game time is important. I just try and enjoy it.
“It is my boyhood club and a dream to play for this club, so any time I put the shirt on I just enjoy it to the max.”
Foden, who hails from Stockport, was joined on the field by another youngster from his home town in Taylor Harwood-Bellis.
The 17-year-old centre-back was handed his debut alongside another young defender, 18-year-old Eric Garcia.
Foden said: “It is good for the club. It is good to see Taylor make his debut and I am happy for him.
“I think he was outstanding, as was Eric Garcia. You can tell there is a bit of a connection there from the youth team and I think they handled it really well and helped each other out.”