JAKE Hesketh is targeting more Premier League action after making his debut against Manchester United – the club his mum and brother support.

The 18-year-old midfielder, the Saints Academy’s scholar of the year last season, impressed after coming on for the last 20 minutes in front of a capacity St Mary’s crowd including his parents and younger brother.

“My family are from Manchester – my mum and brother support United and my dad’s a City fan so it’s a bit weird!” he laughed.

Despite the Mancunian connection, Hesketh is from Hampshire having lived in Whiteley since his family moved south when he was six months old.

His parents and brother Adam were sat with the home supporters when he made his first-team debut as a 70th minute replacement for Dusan Tadic.

“I told them I was going to be on the bench after finding out after training on Sunday afternoon,” explained Hesketh, who was schooled in Swanmore.

“I wasn’t sure whether I’d get on but with half an hour to go Erwin [Koeman] gave me a little nod to go and warm up.

“I was buzzing when I was told I was going on. I was told where I was going to play and to go out there and play my normal game.

“I was also given a bit of tactical advice but apart from that I was just told to enjoy myself.

“Dusan’s been one of the main men for us this season, he’s taken us where we are so there was a bit of pressure replacing him, but I didn’t feel it too much.

“Once I got my first touch I felt much more relaxed and comfortable and definitely enjoyed it. You have to enjoy that moment.”

Hesketh, who signed a three-year contract at the end of last season, admits 2014 has been “quite surreal”.

“At the start of the year I was playing youth football and now I’ve made my debut against United in the Premiership,” he said.

“When the season started my main goal was to cement a place in the under-21s. I did that, then got a few sessions with the first team. It’s gone quite quick.”

A prolific goalscorer for the under-18s last season, Hesketh helped Saints beat United in a first-v-second Barclays U21 Premier League clash a week before his first-team debut.

He has been with Saints since he was seven.

“Growing up I watched [Andres] Iniesta a bit, but coming through the ranks here Adam Lallana was quite a big inspiration because he’s been through the same journey,” he continued.

Unlike Lallana, Hesketh has the advantage of taking his first first-team steps for a successful Premier League team.

“I’m really proud, it hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said, before admitting that his big night was tarnished by Saints’ 2-1 defeat.

“The result’s what matters at the end of the day and it was a disappointing one for us.

“We played well and created chances but the ball just didn’t fall to us in the right areas. On another day we’d have won that game.”