Having returned to action in last week’s friendly against Espanyol, the midfielder made his first start since January in the 6-3 win against Manchester City in the Barclays U21 Premier League.
He played 67 minutes in a central midfield three and on top of his usual work, went close to scoring in the first half and set-up the fifth goal with a fine crossfield pass to Andros Townsend, who in turn crossed for Harry Kane to complete his hat-trick.
“His attitude was absolutely fantastic,” said Chris, our Senior Professional Phase Coach.
“The fact is we can support the first team well with the likes of Sandro, Andros, Tom Carroll and Harry all playing and maintaining their fitness levels, as well as helping to develop the younger players.”
Tom was the outstanding performer with the opening goal and assists in three goals. Yago Falque and Shaq Coulthirst were also on target.
The team played some superb football but Chris admitted the management team were not happy that City were allowed to reduce arrears from 5-1 to 5-3 before Shaq had the final word with the final kick of the game.
“Some of our possession play was fantastic but in the end we got a little sloppy,” said Chris. “Our defending wasn’t great and we’re a little disappointed that we let City score two late goals.
“We have to concentrate and make sure we’re professional all the way through.”
Nevertheless, the team has kicked-off the Barclays U21 Premier League campaign with two wins in two against Chelsea and City, scoring 10 goals already!
“We’ve scored a few goals and done well in terms of creating chances,” added Chris. “I’m sure anyone watching the games would have been very happy.”
Next up for the Under-21s, West Ham at Upton Park on Friday, 7pm.