TUFC head coach Gary Owers was more than pleased with his side after Friday night’s 1-1 draw against Cardiff City.
The Gaffer sees the result as a benchmark for what he wants to see from his team this season.
“It’s given supporters, hopefully, a lot to look forward to, and a lot of belief, and it has certainly given the players a lot of belief,” said Owers after the final whistle.
Coming soon after Tuesday night’s match against Plymouth Argyle, United could have wilted against their Premier League opponents, but instead the team pushed on in the second half.
“Some lads have been massive shifts in there, and I would have liked to have rested one or two to be honest. They [Cardiff] freshened it up, I think they made five or six or seven changes in the second half and we didn’t have that luxury. Fair play to the lads they stuck to their task and they’ve come through it really well.”
The impact made by Ruairi Keating coming off the bench was one highlight. He scored with his second touch of the ball after coming on in the 56th minute. The Gaffer believes that there is still more to come from our number 7 as he looks to kick on in the next stage of his career.
“I was pleased for Ruairi because I want him to do well,” added Owers. “He’d have grown in confidence getting that goal and it showed in his performance.
“I’ve haven’t seen the best of him yet. That’s a great starting point for him, tonight. He’ll feel a million dollars when he walks out of here tonight. I want him to feel confident – he’s a likeable lad. He’s an honest lad but there is an onus on strikers to score.”
Trialist forward James Roberts got more game time against Cardiff.
“I thought James did well playing in an unfamiliar position because he’s a front man, really – possibly look to try to keep him here for a little while.”
United impressed with their all-around play against the Bluebirds. Despite Cardiff creating chances, United were able to keep them from many clear-cut ones and could have had a winner themselves.
“I thought they defended really well. The three centre-halves looked really solid. I noted the opportunity that Cardiff created in the dying minutes. The long ball from the goalkeeper and that’s always a frustration if that goes against you and it turns out costing you. But they look a good partnership, all three of them at the minute.”