Birmingham loan star Tahith Chong reveals Jesse Lingard played role in move

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Tahith Chong sought advice from a familiar face to Birmingham City supporters

Birmingham City’s loan star Tahith Chong has revealed he took on Jesse Lingard’s advice before his move to St Andrews.

The 21-year-old has been one of the Blues’ key players following his move from Manchester United.

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Before departing Old Trafford though, he held a discussion with a man who knows all too well of playing for the blue side of Birmingham.

Lingard spent the first-half of the 2013/14 season playing for Birmingham, scoring six goals in 13 appearances, despite his brief spell, he provided Chong with what it means to play for them.

"Well, before I left, I spoke to Jesse, just briefly, about it as he’s been here as well,” said Chong to Manchester United’s official website.

“So I spoke to him and he explained a bit about the club so I already had kind of an idea. It’s always different when you experience it yourself but I have got to say it has been fantastic for me."

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"Jesse just said about the fans - if you work hard on the pitch and all the stuff like that then the fans can help you through games.

He added: “I just came in and really liked the experience. I just wanted to listen to the staff and players and what they wanted me to do and tried to get on with that."

As well as earning rave reviews at his loan club, parent team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been keeping tabs on the progress of one of his young starlets. Solskjaer, Darren Fletcher and Kieran McKenna have been watching highlights of Chongs game, providing him with feedback.

It’s always nice to hear from him, and that he’s watching the games as well. That’s good. The coaches and staff are obviously in contact after the games. “I’ve got Darren Fletcher and Kieran McKenna and, like I say, even the manager sometimes texts me.

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“You know, after matches, it can be ‘well done’ or ‘well done, you can improve on this and this’ and, to be honest, the contact has been very good.”

Birmingham are out-of-form but there is hope they can get back on the winning track. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Birmingham are out-of-form but there is hope they can get back on the winning track. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Birmingham are out-of-form but there is hope they can get back on the winning track. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Curacao born midfielder can play in various roles and has two assists this season.

In his role as a right-winger, he has picked up those assists, though he has also played on the opposite flank as well as in the attacking midfielder position.

“Well, for me, development-wise, it’s been very good,” Chong said.

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“I’m learning new stuff every day and that different positions require different things that you may have to do. These are things I may have to do to help the team out and it’s been a very good experience for me. As a player, I can feel I am developing different aspects of the game."

Birmingham’s manager Lee Bowyer is a big fan of Chong and has started him in 10 out of the 11 Championship fixtures this season, proving how much he rates him.

It is a loan move that is proving beneficial after spending time with Werder Bremen and Club Brugge last year.

He has already experienced the highs of winning three of their opening six matches, as well the lows of a poor run of form of four defeats in their last five.

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The rough-and-tumble of the Championship, an unforgiving physical division with a sometimes hectic schedule is a situation that Chong finds himself enjoying.

“I think obviously, in the first couple of weeks, you’ve got to get used to it a bit more but you try to manage your body a bit more and recover well.

“In the last two or three weeks, I’ve got to say my body is starting to get used to it more and more, which is good to see as well.”

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