Russell Martin and goalscorer Alex Gilbey both praised the impact Sam Nombe had off the bench in Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash with Gillingham.
Nombe was a half-time substitute at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium and made an instant contribution, providing the assist for Alex Gilbey’s goal which reduced the deficit, at the time, to 2-1.
The young striker, who has recently returned from a knee injury sustained back in September, drew plaudits from his manager.
“He was excellent,” Martin said in his post-match press conference. “He did exactly what we asked of him.
“He gave us energy, pressed and allowed us to play a lot higher up the pitch. He provided a platform for us to go and play in the second half and most of our good stuff came through him.
“He’s a rough diamond but we all know what he is capable of and when he plays like that, we've to a real threat on our hands.”
Martin’s sentiments were echoed by midfielder Alex Gilbey, who also spoke after the match – even if the 25-year-old wasn’t a fan of Nombe’s pass for the assist.
“I've had to improvise because it was a poor touch from him,” Gilbey joked in his interview. “I can say that because he's already told me that!
“Sam played well. He’s a hungry lad, who wants to play games, do well and win games. He came on today and showed how hard he works. It’s what we needed so fair play to him.”