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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Ossie Happy To Offer Advice

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

Leon Osman is more than happy to take on the role of senior pro to help usher in the next generation of talent at Goodison Park.

Injuries forced the Blues to field a substitute’s bench without a single minute of Premier League experience between them during the draw with Aston Villa at the weekend.

Consequently that meant top-flight debuts for Magaye Gueye and Apostolos Vellios, while four other Academy graduates sat alongside reserve keeper Jan Mucha in the home dugout.

Osman knows exactly how that feels having come through the system himself, and he says he is ready to offer a word of advice for the latest crop of talent.

The midfielder, this week named the Club's player of the month for March, told evertontv: "I stopped them all and congratulated them on being on the bench. I told them it is an occasion to enjoy and hopefully they all did so.

"You have to enjoy it or you won't do yourself justice if called upon to play, and if there is any advice it is just to relax and do what you are good at."

With the likes of Louis Saha, Mikel Arteta, Jack Rodwell, Marouane Fellaini and Victor Anichebe all missing games in recent weeks, there are likely to be more opportunities for youngsters to play between now and the end of the campaign.

That places a greater onus on the senior pros to take responsibility and Ossie is eager to oblige.

"I think everyone in the team is a big personality and we all know what is required when we go out to play,” he said.

"But if that bit of extra leadership is needed then we have the players, and the senior guys have all been around long enough to know what it takes now."

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