"Ciaran Clark has got a big part to play. He was very impressive during pre-season," said the Bulgarian midfielder.
"He played well in the Peace Cup over in Spain and against Fulham he acted like he has already got 100 games behind him.
"It is great to see young boys with such confidence and ability, especially from the youth team, and you want to see players like that break into the first team.
"He was excellent. Gabby (Agbonlahor) was the man of the match for us - but Ciaran was not far behind him. I really mean that."