DAVID Forde spoke to the squad in the dressing room after Saturday’s 3-0 Sky Bet League One defeat to Gillingham, his manager Neil Harris revealed.
Forde made his first appearance in the league since the 3-2 loss to Barnsley at The Den in August after Jordan Archer had been sent off for a professional foul.
The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper’s first action was to pick the ball out of the net after Bradley Dack had scored the penalty awarded when Archer took out Cody McDonald in the box.
Harris said Forde had been “chomping at the bit” for his chance, while the Lions boss also hinted that he wasn’t staisfied with Archer’s preparation leading up to Saturday’s contest against Justin Edinburgh’s side.
“I was really pleased with Fordey,” Harris said. "However experienced you are it’s difficult to come off the bench, especially like that. He’s been chomping at the bit to get his opportunity and his opportunity now rises on Boxing Day.
“I thought he came on and performed well, and he spoke well in the dressing room after the game also. He’s a good leader and he’s a good man.
“It’s unfortunate for Jordan, he’s done really well for us. He’s a young man with a huge desire to get to the top. The slight errors he’s made, I’ve not had a problem with. The slight errors that have led to a goal, he’s going to learn.
“(Saturday) is just another learning curve for him. He’ll learn that his concentration doesn’t start on a Thursday or Friday or Saturday. His concentration starts the moment the last game finishes. He had a stop-start week and I think he’ll learn from this week massively.”
Meanwhile, Harris warned his squad he won’t tolerate a repeat of the mistakes that lead to Dominic Samuel’s double and Dack’s penalty and that if his standards aren’t met he will have no hesitation dropping players.
“I like players to take responsibility,” Harris said. “I like them to own up to a mistake and be honest – but don’t make the same mistake again. If players make the same mistake time and time again then they find themselves out of the team.
“I have standards, high standards I expect them to reach. They’ve set standards themselves at times this season with some very good performances. If they can’t reach those standards on a very regular occurrence then there is no place for them at this football club.”
Harris had no problem with referee Darren Handley’s decision to send off Archer after the goalkeeper had also been involved in an earlier incident with Samuel that saw the striker booked for simulation: “I thought the second one was correct, the first one I couldn’t see, I was too far away. The second one…I’ve been in that position myself, you nudge the ball past the goalkeeper and you’re waiting for him to knock you over. It was a goalscoring opportunity.”