RICHARD Taylor wants his Southend United debut to be the sign of things to come - for both himself and the team.

The 19-year-old defender played the full 90 minutes as the Shrimpers saw off AFC Wimbledon in the Trophy on Wednesday night.

And the centre-back was thrilled to make the first senior appearance of his career.

“I think I’ve been ready to play for a while now but it’s about being patient and making sure you’re ready for when you do get the call-up,” said Taylor.

“I’ve been close to playing a few times but it meant a lot to finally get out there and show what I can do.

“Hopefully I can build on this now and hopefully the team can do that as well.

“It would be great to get the same result in our next game now and get a run of wins going.”

Taylor joined Blues in the summer after being released by Burnley.

And he was grateful for the support of his Shrimpers team-mates against the Dons.

“The players helped me a lot during the game,” said Taylor.

“They kept me going and made sure I stayed positive.

“From speaking to me they made the game much easier for me and I’m grateful for that.

“It was a really tough time for me and my family when I left Burnley because it came as a shock.

"But I’m very pleased to be at Southend now and it’s given me more determination to do well too.”

Taylor had previously been on the bench nine time for Blues.

And he is capable of lining up in other roles if needed.

“I used to play as a striker so centre-back is a fairly new position for me but I’m learning all the time,” said the defender.

“I also played in midfield for Burnley’s under-23s so I can play in a few roles but it’s been going well since I’ve been at the back and I’m enjoying it.”

And his debut was also praised by Blues boss Sol Campbell.

“Richard Taylor was excellent,” said Campbell.

“He was really good on the ball and he will only get better. There are things to work on but that will come the more he plays.

“Coming forward he passed the ball well, he looked comfortable and got some really good defensive headers away. It was a really good debut, he should be happy with that.”