RYAN Clampin says he is treating every game like it is his debut after breaking into Colchester United’s starting line-up.

The 20-year-old left-back has started each of the U’s last five league and cup games, having made his league bow against Cambridge United last month.

Clampin has helped Colchester win each of their last three games, keeping three successive clean sheets in the process.

He received special praise for his performance against England winger Andros Townsend, in the U’s Carabao Cup triumph at Crystal Palace last week.

But the former Stanway School pupil insists he is taking nothing granted, as he bids to bed down a place in John McGreal’s side.

Clampin said: “I think it's a case of one game at a time for me.

“I have to take every game as if it's my debut until I'm getting in the squad regularly.

“I was lucky to get my opportunity in the first place and I’m hoping to keep it as long as possible.”

Clampin has established himself as a left-back at Colchester – but initially started out as a winger.

U’s head coach John McGreal moved him into a defensive role and the Colchester-born player says he is now more comfortable as an attack-minded left-back.

“When I first started training with the first team, I was still a winger,” said Clampin, who has been at Colchester since he was nine years old.

“But then he (John McGreal) said he could see me playing more defensively.

“That's when I started training with the first team and playing for the under-23s as a left-back and getting more of an understanding of playing there.

“I used to play on the left wing or right wing - last season was the first season I got dropped back to left-back.

“When I first got pushed back defensively, it was a bit of a tough pill to swallow.

“I wanted to be forward and scoring goals but as I've got used to the position and had more of the ball, I've really enjoyed it.

“I can get forward just as much as when I'm playing forward and I feel I've adapted to it quite well.

“Now, I'd rather play more defensively than attacking, because I can get forward just as much.

“It's about defensive responsibilities and where I need to be positionally because it's hard to learn and one-on-one defending.”

Meanwhile, Clampin says the presence of skipper Luke Prosser alongside him in the U’s defence has been hugely beneficial.

He added: “Pross really does help me out.

“He’s such a big talker and leader and every two minutes, he’s talking to me telling me where I need to be even if it’s just a yard.

“He’s not just leaving me to my own devices so he’s helping me massively and when I’m next to him, I feel very comfortable.”