Swansea City's Ben Davies relishing big occasions
BEN Davies is ready to swim with the big fish next week having been thrown in the deep end at Swansea City this season.
Davies has made a rapid rise from little known youth product to top-flight regular and Welsh international.
Now the teenage starlet is bracing himself for what is arguably the most demanding sequence of fixtures Swansea have ever faced.
Michael Laudrup’s men go to the Etihad Stadium to take on Premier League champions Manchester City this Saturday before hosting Champions League winners Chelsea the following weekend.
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And in between those two colossal fixtures is a reunion with former boss Brendan Rodgers, as Swansea battle Liverpool at Anfield for a place in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup. “We’ve got big games coming up, but they are games I’m really excited about,” Davies said.
“I think it’s the only way you can think about games when you are young and new to the Premier League, you can’t worry about the opposition and who you may be up against.”
Davies has shown little sign of stage-fright since Neil Taylor’s season-ending ankle injury paved the way for his Premier League baptism.
The Neath product had not played a first-team game before this season, but he has not missed a minute of action for Swansea at left-back since Taylor was stretchered off against Sunderland on September 1.
The 19-year-old has also filled in for his club-mate at international level, winning his first Wales caps against Scotland and Croatia earlier this month.
“My experience with Wales, playing against some of the best players in the world like Luka Modric, will help me going into these big games just like my other Premier League games prepared me for playing for Wales,” Davies added.
“I’m hoping the international experience will benefit me in the short term and also going forward for the rest of the season.
“It’s been a bit of a manic couple of weeks for me, first of all getting my first Wales cap and then coming straight back in to the Premier League.
“It was important to get the win against Wigan last Saturday and things are going well for me at the moment — I’m feeling good.”
Swansea’s run of fixtures against some of the biggest clubs in the land could be considered daunting even for the club’s most experienced players.
But Davies, who remains a relative novice in the senior game, is relishing the prospect of three mouthwatering fixtures.
“It’s been an incredible season for me so far and every time I get out on to the pitch I feel like I am learning something new,” he said.
“I think being thrown in at the deep end like I have could be the best way for me to learn because if you don’t learn from your mistakes at this level, you will get found out.
“I’m not taking my place in the team for granted at all, but I do feel like I am settling in much more and that comes from playing more games.”