Jim Goodwin has lauded the courage of Mathew Cudjoe after the gifted Ghanaian missed the decisive penalty kick as Dundee United were dumped out of the Scottish Cup.
The United boss is adamant the 20-year-old, who has only started one game since September 16, showed commendable bravery to step up against Queen of the South on Saturday.
For such a young player to put his hand up just shows the strength of character he has.
Jim Goodwin on Mathew Cudjoe
That pressure was heightened given he HAD to score after Liam Grimshaw saw his earlier effort saved by the excellent Harry Stone.
And belying his usual technical ability, Cudjoe lashed the ball wildly over the bar.
“Cudj is disappointed, but he was brave enough to put himself forward and take a penalty,” said Goodwin. “The best players in the world have missed penalty kicks through the years. It happens.
“He had great support from everyone in the dressing room; the staff and players all got around him.
“The same goes for (Liam) Grimshaw, who missed one – albeit the keeper makes a decent save there.
“I always think the players who step up are walking into a nerve-wracking situation and deserve a lot of credit for that. And for such a young player to put his hand up just shows the strength of character he has.
“I know that Cudj will be absolutely fine.”
Specialist visit for Tony Watt
Meanwhile, Goodwin confirmed that Tony Watt – notable by his absence at Palmerston Park – will visit a specialist in the coming days, with United hopeful that he will return to full training next week.
Watt is nursing a slight groin strain, and the Terrors will take no chances with their vice-captain.
But Goodwin doesn’t believe the issue is a serious one.
“Archie Meekison and Tony (Watt) are the only two who will be missing this week,” confirmed Goodwin. “Tony’s is not a major problem. It’s a groin strain and he’s away to see a specialist to get that sorted this week.
“Hopefully, Tony will be back in training early next week.”
Skipper emerges unscathed – despite lengthened return
Ross Docherty also made his return to action at the weekend following three weeks on the sidelines, with Goodwin revealing that his club captain played 30 minutes longer than he initially intended.
However, the influential midfielder emerged unscathed and will be ready to lead his side out against Morton.
Goodwin added: “It was Ross Docherty’s first game for a while, and the intention was to play him for an hour – and hopefully be in a good enough position to take him off.
“Due to the way the game panned out, we had to play him a bit longer.
“But the boys who played are all fine.”