Jack Muldoon hopeful that winner at Barrow earns him Harrogate Town recall
Jack Muldoon is hoping that his match-winning contribution at Barrow on Tuesday evening will prove sufficient to earn him a recall to Harrogate Town’s starting XI at Stevenage this weekend.
The 31-year-old, who is the club’s leading marksman, was rested last month and hasn’t managed to force his way back into Simon Weaver’s side, such has been the form of January recruit Josh March.
But, the former Lincoln City attacker provided a reminder of exactly how much he has to offer when he arrived as a second-half substitute at Holker Steet in midweek, racing almost half the length of the pitch before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner to wrap up the Sulphurites’ sixth win in eight outings.
“It was good to get the goal, you want to contribute in every game and I am just pleased that I was able to help the team,” Muldoon told the Harrogate Advertiser.
“Obviously I have been out of the side and I’ve been waiting my turn, so hopefully I’ve staked my claim again now.
“The gaffer pulled me after the Tranmere game [on January 26] and said he felt as if he’d probably over-used me this season and he wanted to give me a rest.
“He’s probably done me a favour there, but I feel like I’ve got my legs back now and I want to play as much as I can. The best thing for a player is to be contributing and feel like you’re making a difference to the team.”
Desperate though he has been for more minutes, 12-goal Muldoon insists there was never any danger of him throwing his toys out of the pram.
“There’s no point sulking or moaning, that’s not going to do you or the team any favours,” he added.
“It’s a team game and I’ve just tried to support the lads while I’ve not been starting - that's what you need to do.
“I think you see the best managers in the game rotating their players to keep things fresh, and if you do that, you’ll have a healthy group.
"Look at our squad now, it’s definitely stronger than it was. Thirs [Paul Thirlwell] said to me before the Grimsby game at the weekend 'just look at the options we have on the bench now'. We maybe haven't had that in the past, that got competition for every single position.
"I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re up to 11th in the table now."
Reflecting on Muldoon's 84th-minute winner at Barrow, boss Weaver said his striker had "a long time to get it wrong, but got it right" having raced almost half the length of the field before calmly slotting the ball past Joel Dixon.
"Sometimes when it's a snap-shot and it's instinctive, it is easier. I did have a long time to think about this one, it to be fair," Muldoon continued.
"I've run half the length of the field with someone on my back, but you just have to compose yourself. I try and make myself ice cold. I try and put everything out of my head and just concentrate on making a good contact with the ball.
"Their keeper came up to me after the game and asked me if he'd left me too much of the goal to aim at. His positioning probably was wrong, he was a little bit too far over towards his near post, which is what I told him.
"But, it's alright him giving me that space to put the ball into, you've still got to execute and send your finish where you want it. That's why you have to be cool with what you're trying to do, so you get it right when it matters."