Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira says that academy graduate Tyrick Mitchell needs to realise how “good he can be” and has challenged the defender to bring more attacking threat to his game.
Mitchell picked up the Young Player of the Season trophy at the end of season awards on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old started every game in the Premier League under Vieira until the 1-0 loss at Newcastle United just days following the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea.
Mitchell, who was left out of the matchday squad for the 0-0 draw at home to Leeds United after picking up a knock, has been on the bench for the back-to-back Premier League wins against Southampton and Watford.
Vieira has picked Joel Ward – right-back by trade – to start in Mitchell’s left-back spot for the last two outings.
“Tyrick has been really good to us. He had his injuries, and Wardy and Clyney had been doing really well, so it was difficult for me to change those two players,” explained Vieira of Mitchell’s recent absence from the starting line up.
“But Tyrick is here – he is part of what we do and what we try to do. He will play. There is a high belief and confidence in his talent.
“He still, of course, needs to learn about the game – there are details in his game that he needs to learn to do better [with].”
Mitchell was called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad in March, making his debut for the Three Lions against Switzerland and first full International start against Ivory Coast.
Brent-born Mitchell has also been nominated for the Premier League’s Young Player of the Season, which includes Palace team-mate Conor Gallagher in the list of eight nominees.
When asked how Mitchell had found being on the bench in recent weeks after starting every Premier League game before the goalless draw with Jesse Marsch’s side, Vieira replied: “Really good. That is part of developing a player as well.
“During your career or a period of a season, you are going to go through a difficult period for a number of reasons. It could be injuries, or it can be not playing for a while, but it is about how you manage that and how do you deal with it.
“Tyrick is [all] about confidence and belief. There is still a big step for him to make in believing how good he can be and taking the initiative on the field.
“He can bring more going forward to the team, because he has the quality to score goals, to make assists or to make more crosses. That will come with more belief and more games that he plays in the Premier League.”
MAIN PICTURE: ROB AVIS