Matthew Pennington says facing physically strong frontmen and wily veterans while on loan at Coventry City has developed his game.
The young Blues defender made 25 appearances at the Ricoh Arena and picked up the Sky Blues’ Young Player of the Season award.
For Pennington himself, League One was a steep learning curve and helped build on the experience he gained while taking in a similar temporary spell at Tranmere Rovers at the end of the 2013/14 season.
And it was the variety of forwards that he faced that taught him the most.
“It was a different challenge for me as a centre back,” he said. “I came across big strikers who more often than not you can’t win headers against, whereas in the Under-21s I would expect to win every one.
“You have to be clever about things when you are up against players who are stronger than you. You have to be quicker in your decision making and think on your feet quite a bit.
“You find yourself against strikers who have a lot of experience and who know all the tricks in the book that I might not be used to.
“But I feel like I have picked up a lot from my time at Coventry and learned a lot.”