Tony Carr has paid tribute to his young charges after an impressive 6-1 weekend win away to Southampton with Danny Kearns deserving of special mention.
Although Balint Bajner struck a hat-trick and Anthony Edgar scored one and made two - it was young attacker Kearns who particularly caught the eye with a lively display that was crowned by a delightful opening goal. The Northern Irish youth international can play in an advanced position on either wing and showed some good touches in a match that was not as straightforward as the result suggested.
"It was a comprehensive win but it was not as easy as it sounds," said Carr, who also saw Oliver Lee find the target. "For an hour it was nip and tuck. We went two-nil up in the first half through Danny Kearns and Balint Bajner. We were in a good position at half-time but they pulled one back about ten minutes into the second half after a lack of concentration."
Carr admitted to being concerned at that point about which way the match would go, having seen his team throw away leads earlier this campaign. "We have been in that position before. We went one-nil up against Arsenal and lost, we were one-nil up against Chelsea and lost and we were two-nil up against Leeds and drew 2-2.
"I had visions briefly of it slipping away from us again but to be fair we scored the third one quickly and it settled the nerves. We played some really good football after that and in the end totally outplayed them." The chief instigators of the visitors' strong play were Bajner and Kearns.
The towering Hungary Under-19 striker is just back from international duty - including a 16-minute hat-trick against San Marino - and is impressing all at the club with his form since arriving this summer. Carr said: "Balint has got lots to learn about the English game but is improving. There were signs of that this weekend and he is a striker in good form. Hopefully we can reap the benefits of that."
Kearns had opened the scoring with a "cheeky chip" after good work on the left flank and was then involved in the decisive third when he nodded back Anthony Edgar's cross for Bajner to score. "He was outstanding," said Carr of the youngster. "Technically he is a very good player, great skill, great ball control - he can use his left and right foot. He will develop physically and I am sure in the next couple of years he will be a very good player."