Josh Dacres-Cogley admits he’s utilising Jonathan Spector’s all-round game to help him improve his own.
The right-back, who stepped in for the American when he received a three-match ban in December, has impressed Gianfranco Zola.
The 20-year-old also replaced Spector just before half-time in last week's Emirates FA Cup third round tie against Newcastle United and he’s now hoping to keep proving he’s worth with more game time.
“I like to get forward a lot and Gianfranco Zola likes people getting up the pitch and overlapping,” said Dacres-Cogley
“I think I suit that play and as a young player that’s our bread and butter, we all like to keep the ball.
“Hopefully with him teaching me a little bit more I can improve in that aspect.
“But obviously Jonathan Spector is a very good professional and I understand if he starts.
“His defensive all-round game is good as he’s an experienced player and featured for the top club’s.
“He’s a very good defender and I take a lot from that in training.
“I look up to what he does and try to make myself better than him in the future.
“I’ve got to keep doing what I do, watch other players and just try to improve from that.”
Dacres-Cogley made his debut in the EFL Cup against Oxford United in August and he was also brought on in Gianfranco Zola’s first game in charge.
Away fixtures at Brentford and Newcastle United before Christmas were good experience for the Academy product and he admits he’s looking forward to a return to St. James’ Park.
“I’d love to play them again,” Dacres-Cogley adds.
“Playing against Newcastle, they’re a massive team, so hopefully I can show the gaffer what I can do.
“They’re a top team and have got lots of players who didn’t play, but could have.
“We’ve just got to be prepared and stop them from getting into a rhythm.”