Sullay Kaikai was proud to make his Premier League debut for Crystal Palace on Sunday, insisting that his second half appearance against Southampton is "only the start" for him in red and blue.
"It was a proud moment for me and my family and everyone else who has supported me so far," he said after the 4-1 defeat. "This is only the start of the journey. There's a lot I need to learn and a lot I need to take on board, so hopefully I can prove [myself] and get to the top level."
Kaikai, who has risen through the youth ranks at Palace and spent two successful spells on loan at Shrewsbury Town this season, had family in the stands at St Mary's and he was quick to recognise their support when talking to Palace TV, saying: "I had about five members of my family watching me today, everywhere I go they support me and I'm grateful for that. It does help when you're on the pitch."
It was almost a dream debut for the 20-year-old winger, as he connected with a cross on the volley only to see his shot skim off the turf before being parried away from the top corner by the Saints' Fraser Forster.
"Before I hit it I was put off a little bit and managed to get a decent connection, by the ball hitting the ground it took a bit of the pace off it, but it was a good save," he conceded, before adding with a laugh: "I thought that was the moment, but hopefully next time!"
Despite the step up from League One to the Premier League, Kaikai was unfazed on the big stage and had several attempts on goal, delivered a string of excellent crosses into dangerous positions and was put on corner duty to demonstrate his ability from dead ball situations.
"I feel good. It's completely different to League One, it's very quick and tactically you need to be more aware," he said. "Switch off and you get punished, that's the big thing at this level."
To watch a full video interview with Sullay CLICK HERE