Manchester United's youngsters have faced "a lot of learning curves" this season according to Tahith Chong, but he feels it has been an "amazing" experience so far.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been forced to look to youth as a series of injuries have disrupted an already haphazard season. Paul Pogba is currently sidelined with an ankle injury and will not return until December at the earliest, while United are also missing Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot and Eric Bailly.
Chong is just one of the young players who have been given the opportunity to step up in their absence. Tuanzebe, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and James Garner are among the other academy graduates who have featured this term.
"All of us really are having a lot of learning curves and are gaining a lot of experience up to now," Chong said. "It has been amazing really and, just thinking about it, being a first-team player is something you dream about. The younger lads are coming up as well, so it's really good.
"Training is a different level as well now. Definitely, the training and the games are tougher, stuff like that, as you progress, but you keep training and keep playing games and you'll get there. You start getting used to the tempo of the game and, like I've said, it's been a good experience for us."
United face Chelsea in the EFL Cup on Wednesday evening and Chong could feature, most likely as a substitute.
Asked how he adapts to the pace of first-team football when coming off the subs' bench, he said: "It is one of the things you get used to. The tempo coming into the game as well. The tempo is already there and it’s: 'Okay, now I'm coming on, I've got to get used to it and get into the game straight away'. It's all a learning experience and I’m really enjoying it.
"Obviously, it depends on the game really and how the game is going, stuff like that, but your instructions are based on how the game is going. Every game has different instructions. The manager tells you, as well, to go out there and enjoy your game and do what you're good at."
Chong has made four senior appearances so far this season, including starts against Astana in the Europa League and Rochdale in the EFL Cup. He has also featured for the Under-23s and, for the moment, looks set to continue balancing his senior duties with game time for the development team.