Martyn Waghorn has hit back at those who questioned why he didn’t take yesterday’s late penalty against Barnsley, stating on Twitter that he was prepared to take it.
Jordan Williams fouled Jamie Allen in the box in stoppage time to give Coventry City a chance to steal a point from Oakwell, but Viktor Gyokeres was denied by Brad Collins in the Tykes’ goal, leaving the Sky Blues pointless in South Yorkshire.
The Swedish forward scored last week against Nottingham Forest to kickstart Mark Robins’ side’s season but couldn’t be the hero again and with this, many people questioned why an experienced penalty taker like Martyn Waghorn didn’t step up for the Championship side yesterday.
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After all, the 31-year-old scored a crucial penalty for Derby County on the final day of last season against Sheffield Wednesday to keep the Rams afloat in the second tier, potentially saving the East Midlands side from a total capitulation.
Waghorn took to Twitter after yesterday’s game to set the record straight and in a supportive message to teammate Gyokeres, he said: “In response to some fans questioning the penalty taker today. I do take penalties and I enjoy the pressure of taking them.
“Did I want the penalty, of course! But also my team mate who scored last week, had the ball and was very confident and wanted it also.
“He’s my team mate & after scoring last week we had full confidence in him. To question my bravery, wages or age is irrelevant, it’s about the team and Vik (Gyokeres) wanted it and we backed him.
“We support him as we have all missed them, it happens and he will learn from it. The fans were brilliant today and we will need it again Tuesday, we will see you all then.”
After the game, manager Robins stated the 31-year-old would now be on penalty duty from now on if he’s on the pitch at the time.
This is a classy message from Waghorn who not only took time to explain the situation to fans, but also provided a message to a distraught Gyokeres who is probably still reeling from the missed penalty.
After this miss, it was probably a wise decision for Robins to take the Swedish forward off penalties temporarily just to ensure he doesn’t miss any more and damage his confidence further, because they will need him to be on top form this season if they are to build on their respectable 16th-place finish from last season.
With one less responsibility, Gyokeres will be able to practise his spot-kicks in training and step up at some point in the future when he has his confidence back, because this setback shouldn’t put him off taking them in the long-term
For Waghorn, this appointment will give him the chance to put yesterday behind him and get back in the goals, which will only help to add to his contributions from open play. The whole team now needs to focus on their next assignment against Coventry City on Tuesday night, because that game is coming fast down the tracks.
Any hangover from yesterday afternoon will be punished by Neil Critchley’s side, so as well as Waghorn, the entire Sky Blues squad will need to put the Barnsley game firmly out of their sights.