Skipp's night to remember
Thu 06 December 2018, 12:09|Skipp's night to remember
Humble Oliver Skipp went with the flow in the lead-up to his Premier League debut against Southampton.
Training and travelling with the squad on matchdays on a regular basis over the last few weeks, the 18-year-old was given a nice boost when he made the bench for what was an important game for the team at Wembley and an opportunity to respond after Sunday’s derby defeat.
He watched on with interest as Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Heung-Min Son gave us a healthy three-goal lead – then an already positive Wednesday night got even better.
With the Saints seeing a lot of the ball and creating chances, Mauricio Pochettino turned to the former Richard Hale School student for some extra presence in the centre of midfield in the closing stages, sending him on for his first ever Premier League appearance.
A second-half substitute in our Carabao Cup win at West Ham in October, it was also a home debut for the down-to-earth young man from Welwyn Garden City – and a chance he was happy to take as the team secured a 3-1 victory.
“I’m ecstatic really! It’s just a dream to play in the Premier League,” he said. “As a boy growing up, you watch it, so I’m just delighted to make my debut.
“It was in the team meeting beforehand – that’s when I knew I was going to be on the bench. Then literally about a minute before I came on, I got the shout – I was ready to go and prepared. Although we were 3-0 up, Southampton were creating chances. Hugo has made some world-class saves which obviously helped, so we’ve got him to thank for that, but the key was getting in and around their wide players and making it difficult for them to get crosses into the box, because they’d brought on Charlie Austin and he’s a threat from those situations.
“Unfortunately he scored at the end, but we saw out the game in the end and came away with the victory. The fact that we won the game, it’s everything really. It makes it even better because if you come on and you haven’t won it might feel different, so it’s just amazing to come on in a winning performance.”
The Twitter account of his old school’s PE department proudly proclaimed Skipp as #OneOfOurOwn as he came on under the bright lights in place of England international Kieran Trippier – something they’ve often done as the midfielder has moved up through the age groups within our Academy system. And the Spurs fans inside the national stadium were also proud to see him enter the pitch – something he said he really appreciated.
“It’s pleasing to see from the fans when you come on that they’ll give you an ovation,” he said. “It’s always nice as a player and it’s something that can help you with your game, because you feel confident when you know you’ve got the support of the fans.”