NEIL Harris said his decision to hand Jamie Philpot his first ever senior competitive appearance at The Den last Saturday was a “reward” for the striker.
Philpot made his debut at Wolves on the last day of last season, but injury slowed his progress before he climbed off the bench in place of Steve Morison against Blackpool.
Philpot was back playing for the U21s on Monday, when he scored two goals against Brentford, and Harris said that form is one of the reasons for his senior involvement.
“It’s only five minutes plus VAT at the end, but it’s nice for him to get back on the pitch, nice for the fans to see him,” Harris said.
“He’s a good player and he’s going to have a long goalscoring career, hopefully at this football club. It was just a little bit of reward, just to say ‘well done’. He’s on the bench on merit, he deserves to be there for his performances for the U21s and for the player he is.
“He comes on because he deserves it. He’s well worth his place in the squad at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Harris also paid tribute to Carlos Edwards, who played out of position on the left side of defence in the 3-0 win before going off injured in the 65th minute.
Harris said: “He did really well, Carlos. He’s an experienced player. He was out of the team for a while and he was desperate to get back in.
“He’s had to be patient and watch Mahlon do really well. When I spoke to him on Thursday and said ‘I’m thinking about playing you left-back’, he said ‘Gaffer, pick me, I want to play’.
“At the moment you’ve got camaraderie and spirit, everybody wants to be in the team because when you’re out of the team it’s difficult to get back in.”