Watford youngster Dan Phillips has admitted he was surprised to be involved in the friendly victory over Brentford on Saturday, but hopes it is a sign of things to come.

After the game the 19-year-old told the club website he only found out the day before that he would be involved and that, once he knew he was going to play a part on the pitch, he became too excited to be nervous.

While he was not overly pleased with his performance, despite being deployed at left-back away from the comfort zone of his usual position in midfield, he believes he learnt some valuable lessons.

“It all happened so quickly,” he said. “They told me on Friday to bring my tracksuit on Saturday and then when I was having breakfast, Craig Shakespeare told me I'd definitely be involved. I wasn't sure if I would play but I just wanted to make the most of the chance.

“I wasn't expecting it, but then Craig had always said to me that you never know when your chance is going to come and under what circumstances so just be ready. He has spoken to me a lot. He told me just to enjoy it, that I'm a good player and to just trust my ability and not try too hard.

“Hayden Mullins came up to me at half-time and said I was coming on. I wasn't nervous as I was too excited to be nervous. I thought I did alright, not amazing.

“There were a lot of things I picked up on and it was a good first appearance, considering I hadn't played left-back since I was 13. It's such a different position from midfield and you have to make sure you are switched on and that you are part of a back-line and you aren't playing anyone onside. I just tried to use what I normally do in midfield out wide.”

Phillips said that the most valuable things he learnt came from the big personalities and experienced players within the dressing room, who are helping him to establish himself as one of the club's future prospects.

“Deeney stands out,” he said. “He's a big personality and a massive influence on things. He was so vocal, even when he was sitting on the side. He also spoke to me after and was sharing a lot of information.

“Ben Foster was great. He is a funny character who makes you feel comfortable. Mariappa is good as well and speaks to you a lot. Gomes was great for me as you can hear him talking all the time about where you need to be and what's going on around you.

“And I just loved playing with Capoue. He's amazing. I love the way he slows the game down to his pace and then speeds it up when he wants.”