Crystal Palace Under-23s player Scott Banks has said that being able to train with the first team under Patrick Vieira has shown him exactly what level he needs to be at in order to break into the side.
The 20-year-old was given a chance to impress during pre-season and made the bench for Palace’s Premier League opener against Chelsea where teammate Jesurun Rak-Sakyi was handed his debut.
The experience of working with the first team was eye-opening for Banks, who said there was one player in particular who led by example.
“You just see the levels so you know where you need to get to,” he told BBC Sport.
“You can be around those levels on some days but they’re doing it every single day and you just see the bar that you have to get to.
“James McArthur is the hardest working player in training I’ve ever seen. He’s on it every single day, and if you’re not up to scratch then he’s demanding it off you.
“It’s a level you want to get to. I can’t speak more highly of these guys because they’re amazing to be around and a big influence on what I’m trying to do.”
Banks also spoke about the impact of working with World Cup winner and Arsenal legend Vieira, who replaced Roy Hodgson as Eagles manager in July.
The Frenchman has impressed many in his first stint as a Premier League manager, with the Eagles currently tenth in the table heading into the third international break.
“He’s such a big name and an imposing figure so it was surreal for him to be to the manager,” added Banks.
“He comes in and I’ve just got to put all that to the side and think ‘how do I impress this guy?’ and ‘how do I show myself in the best light towards him?’
“This pre-season I was with him the whole time and able to work with him. I really enjoy his training and his approach to games.
“We’re playing really good football and it’s showing in the first-team results. It’s obviously been a big change for the club, but one that has been so positive and really enjoyable to be a part of.”
Banks will be part of the Scotland under-21 side that plays Kazakhstan this evening in Dundee, before taking on Belgium next Tuesday.