Lloyd Kerry pleased to be able to re-pay Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver for his support after red card
The 32-year-old midfielder was sent-off just 13 minutes after entering the field as a second-half substitute with the game level at 1-1 and Harrogate Town’s 10 men went on to concede a late second goal on their way to a 2-1 defeat.
Having subsequently served a three-match suspension for that off-the-ball clash with Cambridge defender Harry Darling, the ex-Sheffield United trainee had only played 24 minutes of football since completing his ban before coming off the bench against Mansfield on Tuesday evening.
And Kerry went a long way to making up for what he describes as a “silly” mistake at the Abbey Stadium by delivering an impressive performance which helped the Sulphurites close the game out.
“After what happened in the Cambridge game I felt really down, I felt like I had let the team down,” he told the Harrogate Advertiser.
“But the gaffer was great with me. He was really supportive and told me to forget what had happened and just move on from it.
“It was a silly sending off. Obviously I messed up, so I did feel like I owed the lads and the gaffer.
“I’ve tried to make up for it and to re-pay him for his support. Hopefully I went some way to doing that by helping the team to a result against Mansfield on Tuesday.”
Despite his lack of minutes on the pitch in recent weeks and the fact that he hasn’t started a game since December 1, Kerry wasted little time making an impression off the bench during Tuesday’s midweek triumph over the Stags, adding a bit of extra bite and intensity to the midfield.
And the long-serving midfielder said that he was delighted to given the chance to contribute to his team's 1-0 success.
“I was pleased to be back out there. It was nice to get some minutes under the belt,” he added.
“It’s never easy coming on off the bench in a game like that which was so tight. It’s difficult, but I felt in a good place, I felt ready. You’ve just got to put yourself about. I tried to do what I'm good at, landing on the second balls and working hard to try and help the team.
“Because I’ve not had many minutes recently and even started a game since December I’ve been working hard to keep myself as fit as possible so that I was ready when called upon.
“You’ve got to remain professional and be prepared to come in and make a difference when the gaffer needs you, and hopefully that’s what I was able to do.”
His half-an-hour cameo against Mansfield will doubtless have left boss Simon Weaver with something of a selection headache going into Saturday’s home clash with Grimsby and Kerry says he is raring to go if called upon.
“I’m ready if the gaffer needs me on Saturday and, if I play, then I’ll be looking to try and make a similar impact once again,” he continued.
"Every footballer wants to play matches and I'm no different. You work hard in training every day to try and show that, but it's a squad game.
"We've got a lot of competition for places and it's driving everybody on, which is very positive.
"If you're not starting then you have to support the person who has the shirt and the rest of the lads, but like I say, you have to be ready to take your own chance when it comes."