Cristian coming through

Cristian Montano has been given an opportunity to shine in pre-season and, so far, he has taken it with both feet.

The talented Colombia-born winger has featured in all three of the club's matches so far this summer, climaxing in an eye-catching display in Saturday's 3-0 victory at Bishop's Stortford.

Montano, who was introduced as an early substitute for fellow Academy graduate Junior Stanislas at Woodside Park, will have no doubt impressed watching manager Sam Allardyce with his elusive running and intricate dribbling skills, as well as his late slide-rule pass from which Jack Collison completed the scoring.

"It was very good for me to perform in front of the first-team manager and it was also good for me to keep my performances going," he told

"Obviously it's helping me a lot to be playing week-in, week-out and I've played in every game in pre-season. That has helped me a lot.

"I've got my fitness, which is obviously a very important thing for me to have this year. Hopefully I can kick-on from this and keep showing what I can do and keep improving game by game."

While he has a number of strengths to his game, notably his tenacity, heading ability and keen eye for goal, the 2009/10 Doris Bell Award winner knows his running with the ball is what gets supporters excited.

"That's my attribute really. I like taking players on and causing trouble and help the team out in that way. I want to keep putting balls into the box and getting my shots in whenever I can, really.

"Like I said, I just want to keep building on my performances game by game and keep improving."

Montano was one of a number of young players to have joined the first-team squad on their pre-season visit to Switzerland.

There, the 19-year-old worked hard on his fitness and showed glimpses of his undoubted potential in the pre-season meetings with Swiss Super League sides BSC Young Boys and FC Basel.

Having tasted plenty of action on the club's first foray onto the continent, Montano is eyeing another chance to showcase his talents in Wednesday's fixture against FC Copenhagen in Denmark.

"It would be a good thing to go away with them again because it would be another good experience.

"Playing against Copenhagen would be great because they are another big club. It would help me to learn a bit more, so I'm going to keep training hard and hopefully I can make the squad."