Boss pleased by effort and energy shown by young midfielder.Manager Adam Murray had praise for midfielder Jack Thomas, who produced a spirited display full of heart, energy and endeavour in today’s game with Portsmouth at One Call Stadium.
Despite losing the game, 2-1, the teenager scooped the sponsors’ Man of the Match award and also netted his first goal in professional football with a stunning 25-yard attempt midway through the second half.
“Again, it was another ridiculous performance by Jack Thomas,” said our boss.
He continued: “I said to him before the game that he was due a goal, because his performances deserve to be rewarded with a goal. Today, he’s probably just gone and got Goal of the Season on the last home game of the season.
“I said a couple of weeks ago that he should be an inspiration. I don’t care how old you are – he should inspire everyone. He’s on a totally different level and we should be proud of a football club to have someone like that.”
Arguably the game-changing incident came in the first minute when Ritchie Sutton received a straight red card following a foul inside the area, before Matt Tubbs stepped up and converted the resulting spot-kick.
Reflecting on the incident, our boss said: “I think it summed up our season. It was the perfect picture of our season and how it has gone, but after that, credit to the young boys, because I thought they were superb.
“You couldn’t write the script. I’ve heard it was a bit harsh [of the referee to show Sutton a red card], but we shouldn’t have got into that situation anyway.”
Murray added: “It was a picture that wrote the whole season in 90 minutes. I thought we had enough chances to win it with 10 men, but again we’ve come up short and we’re in the changing room saying ‘We’ve killed ourselves’ again, which is something that’s been said on numerous occasions this season, which sums up why we are, where we are [in the league table].
“But today was about getting certain things out of the game and it was never going to alter anything. It was about answering a few questions and we got that.”
Midfielder Joe Fitzpatrick, who dropped in at centre-back following Sutton’s early dismissal, also won special praise from the boss: “It was daunting having to go and play in his own position, so to do a job like that was superb.”