In a recent interview with Sky Sports as part of their ‘At home with’ series, Watkins himself admitted that he didn’t have the easiest journey, putting the challenges down to lack of hard work.
“Coming through as a young lad, I felt like I was a first-team player even though I wasn’t and I think a lot of young lads get caught up in that,” he said.
“You train with the first team but you’re not a first-team player until you’ve played 50 games or so. I thought after making a few substitute appearances that I’d made it when, really, I hadn’t.
“I was always confident in my ability, so I backed myself but I didn’t do the hard work.
“I was only good on the ball, I was probably a liability off the ball and I just wanted to stand out on the wing and beat people and try to create things instead of actually getting stuck in. That’s where I got utilised a lot at Exeter; I was playing left-back, centre-mid, I probably played every position except centre-back and goalkeeper. I just got thrown into the mix and Paul Tisdale challenged me, saying not to complicate my game, just run around, tackle, head it and there was no real pressure on me.
“It was kind of like Sunday league, I was able to go out and express myself.”
You can watch all of Ollie Watkins’ goals for Brentford this season here, for more about the EFL visit www.efl.com!