Liam Mandeville is full of confidence after he inspired Rovers to victory at Exeter City.Rovers were trailing 1-0 when the young forward came off the bench at St James Park, but three minutes after his introduction he had headed home the equalising goal.
He followed that up with key interventions to twice set up John Marquis for the strikes which secured the three points.
The young forward said: “It’s one of those games that happens every so often, though hopefully I can make them happen more.
“It was a great ball from Copps for my goal. I’ve worked on heading it down, I didn’t manage that, but still it has gone into the top corner.
“I tried to bring energy. I thought their centre-halves didn’t look as athletic as our team, so I tried to run at them as I was full of energy.”
Manager Darren Ferguson was full of praise for Mandeville, and the teenager reckons he has plenty to thank for boss for.
He said: “He just told me to try and change the game, and I think I did that. It wasn’t going to plan for whatever reason, we’ll obviously look at that on Monday, but thankfully we have got away with a win. Sometimes you just have to grind outa result – it’s a long way to come so three point is key.
“He is a great coach who has been really good for my progress, he is really improving my knowledge of the game. That’s the major improvement really, I am learning about the game every day.
“It is all about energy, playing a high tempo. My running style looks like I’m not trying sometimes but I am. It’s about the higher tempo and pressing, the defensive side of my game has improved a lot.
“The manager has brought me self-belief and confidence, I am going on the pitch with no fear at the moment.”
Mandeville could have had two goals to his name, but opted to play in Marquis for Rovers’ decisive third goal of the game.
He picked up the ball in his own half before driving towards the area, then coolly slotting the ball across for Marquis to slam it home. For Mandeville, playing in his strike partner was as much about self-preservation as securing the win.
With a smile on his face, Mandeville added: “I thought about shooting then I heard John’s voice which scared me out of it really – he wouldn’t have been happy if I hadn’t passed then missed!”