Head coach Charlie Adam spoke to the media after his side’s 3-0 win over Port Vale at the weekend and has said the youthful signings made in January will bring a sense of fearlessness to the camp for the rest of the season.
Adam, who won his first game as a head coach on Saturday over a struggling Vale side, was very complimentary about the inclusion of the new signings throughout the comfortable win at Highbury and is pleased they all managed to make a mark.
One player who was brought in at the start of the window was forward Ronan Coughlan – a player who broke several League of Ireland records – from our sister club Waterford FC and after netting his first goal for the club, the head coach said it was a 'huge moment’ for him.
It’s huge for him and special for us, we brought him over after scoring plenty of goals in Ireland last year and, we know it takes time for players to settle but, through his energy and athleticism, Ronan has earned his opportunity in the side,” said Adam.
“Strikers want to score goals, he did brilliantly to get in at the back post; he scored a couple against Waterford in a friendly last month, and I threw him in last week against Wycombe and, for the 60 minutes he was on, he was very good.”
Another major plus-point from the home win was the inclusion of Deadline Day signing Eli Campbell, a promising young centre-half from Premier League side Everton, as he managed to make an impression during his Football League debut after featuring for the Toffees Under-21s against Manchester City on Monday.
Adam added: “Campbell came in today for his first start and I thought he was good; he gives us balance, I knew about him through the recruitment team, but I went to watch him on Monday night against Manchester City.
“I just liked everything I saw about him – his energy, his athleticism, and his youth, he showed all those qualities today, but I thought the whole side’s performance was brilliant throughout today.”
Two more new signings featured off the bench and made their mark on the clash, with Gavin Kilkenny taking the corner for the third goal late in the game, and Imari Samuels clearing one off the line with seconds to go, and the head coach is more than pleased with these two joining the battle.
“Gavin’s a good footballer and I want good players in my team, I want to be able to pass the ball and he certainly adds something different. He’s at a Premier League club and has been involved recently so we know that he can handle the ball for us, but with him being young, he will be fearless.
“It was massive keeping that clean sheet; you saw there with Imari Samuels coming on in the last 30 seconds of the game and clearing one off the line, which was big for the defenders and the goalkeeping department. We’ve conceded too many goals this season, and we’ve lost Josh Earl, but it was a decision that was right for him and the football club.”
Both Tommy Lonergan, from St Patrick’s Athletic, and Finley Potter, from Sheffield United, are yet to feature in a matchday squad after joining on the final day of the window, but they have been mainstays in the team during training, so both will be hoping to make their debuts against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday evening away from home.
Defender Harry Boyes, who is in on loan from Sheffield United, is set to miss out on the action this week due top an injury he picked up during the 2-2 draw against Wycombe Wanderers in late-January.