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Waddock backs 'level-headed' Ibe after breaking record

JORDAN Ibe may have become Wycombe's youngest first-team player for three decades but boss Gary Waddock said his maturity will help him cope with growing expectation.

Jordan Ibe

JORDAN Ibe may have become Wycombe's youngest first-team player for three decades but boss Gary Waddock said his maturity will help him cope with growing expectation.

The teenager has burst onto the scene at Wanderers this summer and has been scouted by a host of top-level teams including Manchester United and Chelsea.

He came off the bench as an extra-time substitute in their Carling Cup win over Colchester on Tuesday night aged just 15 years and 244 days to beat team-mate Kadeem Harris' record by nearly a year.

Ibe's milestone is only bettered by Kevin Keen who was aged just 15 years and 209 days when he turned out for Wanderers in the Isthmian League in 1982.

But Waddock is convinced the youngster can cope with rising expectation among Blues fans about his talent and is adamant he will be nurtured properly through the Adams Park ranks.

“He is a level-headed and mature young man,” he said. “It is the summer holidays so it is not getting in the way of his school work. Physically, he doesn't look like a 15-year-old and he is a very good player.

“The most important thing is that he is good enough to be in the group. The players have taken to him and the fans know what a good player he is but we have to be very careful with how we manage his development.

“When we use him it has to be at the right time and I felt Tuesday was the right time and he responded to that.

“He has no fear and is very positive in his play. He was relishing that opportunity to play in a competitive game and he took his chance well.”

(Picture by WWFC)

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