David Fitzpatrick knows the quality of his work without the ball will determine the success or otherwise of his latest opportunity at AFC Wimbledon.
But while goals attract the crowd’s attention, the 20-year-old knows boss Neal Ardley is watching out for graft when there is defending to be done – something Fitzpatrick admits he has fallen down on in the past.
“I’ve had to be very patient because there were a few things in my game to be addressed defensively and the gaffer told me that lots of times,” he admitted.
“I went on loan to Tonbridge which was a good place to practice and now I’ve come back feeling I have addressed some of those things and that’s why he is giving me a chance.”
Saturday’s selection came as a surprise to Fitzpatrick as he got the vote over fit again George Francomb and new arrival Connor Smith as replacement for the injured Sean Rigg in midfield.
He wasted no time making an impression as he lashed home Lyle Taylor’s layoff to give Dons an early lead.
Ultimately there were no points to crown the youngster’s day, but he is hopeful of keeping the shirt for next Saturday’s trip to Bristol Rovers.
“The goal was quite surreal really because I watched it go into the back of the net and it still didn’t really sink in it was my first goal," he added.
“We’ve had U21s games where I’ve built confidence and I’ve been scoring a few, so as soon as it came to me from the set by Lyle Taylor I had it in my head I was going to shoot and luckily for me it came off the laces and was a good strike.
“Any footballer wants to play football, so I am going to work as hard as I can to keep the shirt and if not I’ll work even harder to win it back.”