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Ben boosted by U21 debut

Ben Mee vs Aston Villa

Ben Mee vs Aston Villa

Ben Mee is eager to build upon his England Under 21 debut.

The City defender played the last 24 minutes of Tuesday night's 2-0 defeat to Germany in Wiesbaden, but by the time he was called upon substitute keeper Jason Steele had been sent off and an outfield player, in the shape of Arsenal's Henri Lansbury, had to replace him.

However Ben, who skippered City to victory in the FA Youth Cup in 2008, was delighted to have made his bow for the Under 21s and especially in the context of what had just happened.

"Obviously the circumstances were not ideal, with only 10 men and an outfield player in goal, but we didn't concede while I was on so I'm happy with that!" he smiles.

"We were under pressure, but as a defender that's when you can show more of what you can do rather than when we're attacking.

I thought we did OK with 10 men, we passed it about a bit and after their penalty did not concede again.

...Ben on the U21 game in Germany


There were several links with his club while Ben was on national duty, with long-time City team mate Kieran Trippier playing the full 90 and all marshalled by former Blues boss Stuart Pearce. Both were still at the Academy when Pearce's time at City came to an end in 2007, but Ben was pleased to have had the chance to work with him directly this week, adding:

"I think he remembers me from his time here, at least I hope he did! I've got huge respect for him from his time as City manager and for his England career, so it was good to work with him for the three days.

"Playing for England at any level is nice, but to play with a friend in the same side was special. It was great to be with Kieran and I was pleased to see him get his chance for the whole game as well. Steve Wigley was there too so there as a nice City connection all the way through."

Having made his senior City debut earlier this season as well, Ben is hoping to ride the momentum from his first England 21 appearance all the way to next summer's Under 21 European Championships in Denmark.

"Knowing that England are still watching me and that they have the belief in me has given me a lot of confidence. It's given me the motivation to keep going, and hopefully I can get into the squad for the Euros next summer.

"I've had a big boost and a lift from the whole experience, and I think with Micah playing for the senior side, Greg playing for Ireland we have all done the Academy proud over the last few days."

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