Watford midfielder Sean Murray has been named as the Football League’s Young Player of the Month for March.
A second year Apprentice at Vicarage Road, Murray has scored four goals in seven games during March.
And he believes he can be the latest Hornets star to follow in the footsteps of Ashley Young and more recently Marvin Sordell by stepping up to the Premier League.
“I definitely feel I can do that,” said Murray, who saw Sordell join Bolton in January.
“But I need to cement my place in this team before I can make a big impact.”
Since making a surprise start against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup in January, Murray has featured in all but two of Watford’s last 17 games.
His goals – five since February – combined with a cool head under pressure in midfield have earmarked him as one for the future.
But Hornets boss Sean Dyche is keen to stress to the Republic of Ireland youth international is still only at an early stage of his development as a player.
“It’s quite simple, the challenge is to force his way into our side, deliver performances and see what comes after that,” said Dyche.
“He’s very young, he’s only 18 and he’s developing nicely. We’re not overloading him with information at the moment and over time we’ll add in some of the tactical and technical details.”
“He’s got a long way to go but it’s a very nice start to what will hopefully be a very good career.”
After making his full Hornets debut on the final day of last season – a 3-1 defeat at Preston – Murray found opportunities hard to come by in the first half of the new campaign.
But his inclusion against Spurs, and his energetic display in the narrow 1-0 loss, triggered a run in the side that looks unlikely to come to an end.
“This year I had to work hard to get into the team and it wasn’t working at first, but I got my chance against Spurs and kept my place,” added Murray. “The other players have helped me out a lot. The experience of the other players keeps me level headed.”
Murray was the LFE Apprentice of the Month in January.