Greg Thanks Neil

Greg Pearson is looking forward to getting his first taste of league football at Barnet on loan - and would like to thank the now departed Neil Mellor for his help and advice.

"I am looking forward to playing a bit of 'adult' league football - it is the next step on from the reserves, the way I see it," says the striker, who will be teaming up with Bees' boss Martin Allen at Underhill.

"I needed to get somewhere; the youth team and that is good but this is a step forward, really.

"It is just about getting used to senior football, travelling away to games and staying overnight, and being on the bench, coming on, and starting games.

"It is different to what you would expect at youth team level; I think the gaffer feels I may need that extra which is why he has sent me there, and I don't disagree.

"I spoke to him about it, we had a few discussions, and it is not a sign he is pushing me out, only that he wants me to get some experience, get a feel for it, and produce - and hopefully get in the first team here.

"But that is a long, long way away; I just have to concentrate on what is going on at the moment."

Greg is ambitious without being cocky, and has set his sights on trying to get into the first team squad at Upton Park this season - if possible.

"I would hope to get in the first team squad this season but it is not the end of the world if that doesn't happen," says the powerful 18 year old, who is discussing a new contract.

"That is a question for the gaffer; it depends how he sees me, and I am not totally sure about that at the moment - but it is not impossible for this season."

Ironically, it could be said that Greg has moved one notch up the forwards' pecking order on account of Neil going back to Anfield from what was originally proposed to be a year long loan spell - and Greg has nothing but praise for him.

"I wish him all the best back at Anfield because he is a lovely lad and a fantastic player as well," says Greg.

"He definitely helped me out on and off the pitch, giving me lifts and stuff like that, and I got to know him quite well.

"On the pitch he spoke to me on more than a few occasions - in almost every training session he helped me with something different."

The fact that Neil has been up front with Michael Owen is something that impresses Greg, who adds:

"He has played with England's best striker so it is a great experience for me to have played with him.

"Other lads have helped me as well like Don Hutchison and Richard Garcia and everyone else I have played up front with - it has been good."

For those fans that haven't seen him in the youth team or the reserves, how does he describe himself?

The fact is, he doesn't.

"I don't really like to get into that sort of stuff or talk about it - that is up to people who watch you to label you if they want to," he smiles.