Town goalscorer Onyedinma hadn't expected to get an hour for the Hatters at Pride Park

Attacker brought on with half an hour gone against Derby

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 9:50 am
Updated Thursday, 21st October 2021, 9:52 am
Fred Onyedinma enjoys the moment after making it 1-1 on Tuesday

Town attacker Fred Onyedinma admitted he didn't expect to get as much of a run-out from the bench during Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Derby County.

The 24-year-old hadn’t featured in a Championship clash, or any sort of match, since August 28, after suffering ligament damage in training.

He was named among the substitutes at former club Millwall on Saturday, although not brought on, but at Pride Park, both he and Admiral Muskwe were introduced with just 30 minutes on the clock, as boss Nathan Jones looked to change things round with his side trailing 1-0.

Onyedinma justified the decision too, scoring his second goal of the season early in the second half, arriving at the back post to bundle Harry Cornick’s long throw over the line, as he said: "I didn’t expect to come on so soon.

"I thought I was going to maybe do a 15, but I just have to play through it and through adrenaline and I was delighted to do my part and score.

“For me personally, I wasn’t prepared for a 60 or 70, but that's the game.

“It’s not easy and as you see on Saturday, the boys put in a real shift and sometimes if you’re tired we’ve got others there to take on the baton and keep going.

“That’s what the gaffer said, but we’ve got so much quality on the bench and in the starting 11 and some that even missed out.

"So we’re always ready whatever happens and whoever he picks, we give our all."

When asked what the message Jones had passed on when sending him and Muskwe out in an attempt to retrieve the one goal deficit, Onyedinma added: “He just wanted impact as he said we weren’t getting to second balls and that’s what me and Ade did.

"He just wanted to win more second balls and try and be a threat, so he just went for it.

“Even before the game he just said 'be ready' as the boys they put in shift on Saturday so you never know what happens.

"He just said 'be ready' to me, Ad and the others and we have to be ready, whether it be 15 minutes, 35, 40, we just have to be ready.”

The forward had been on target following a half time interval in which Jones himself revealed he 'went mental' at his players for their efforts during that opening period.

Onyedinma felt it had the desired effect though, as Town hit back immediately, and even though they fell behind again, grabbed a point through Elijah Adebayo's late header, with the substitute also hitting the bar in the closing stages.

He added: “Yes, I've seen that side of him, that's how he is, that's his personality and you just take to it.

"It drives you really as we as a group, we like to keep our standards high and it wasn’t quite good enough in the first 20 minutes.

"But sometimes it’s like that, you just have to keep picking it up and try and get the goals and results.

“That’s what good teams do.

"I feel like even if we’re not playing well, or when they scored, I feel like we have enough quality to get a goal.

"That’s what we showed with Elijah there and we could have even nicked it at the end."