Max Sanders is looking to repay the faith shown in him by manager Michael Appleton and the club’s supporters.
The 22-year-old midfielder has had a disrupted season due to injuries, but after impressive substitute appearances against Wigan Athletic and Shrewsbury Town is hoping to get a protracted run in the matchday squad.
He said: “The manager giving me a bit of praise has been good for me. I’ve been trying to implement what he wants, whether as a deep-lying midfield or a more attacking player.
"I’m happy that he felt I did the job well when I came on. I know I need to be able to do that from the start of games and throughout games.
“I’ve had some nice comments from fans as well, and that means a lot as they haven’t seen that much of me. I hope they’ve seen I’m working hard and trying to make an impact when I do come on and hope I can repay that over the next few months.”
Sanders hopes to be involved on Saturday when Isthmian League side Bowers & Pitsea head to the LNER Stadium.
Sanders added: “We don’t prepare any differently for this game: we go about it as if it were a league game. They’re a few levels below us, but we have no right to win any game of football, no matter what level the two teams are.
"We’ve seen it in the FA Cup before, big shocks happen when teams are not prepared. We don’t want that to happen to us, so we’ll prepare to the game just like any other."
Max Sanders is the feature interview in Saturday's matchday programme, which is available from sellers around the stadium as well as from the ticket office, with fans able to pay by cash or card. If you cannot get to the match then order your copy online now.