Charman's relief at matchwinning double
Written by Tom Easterby
Matchwinner Luke Charman admitted his brace in the 2-0 Premier League Cup win over Southampton on Tuesday came as something of a relief.
Charman entered the fray as a second half substitute at Whitley Park, with the scores level at 0-0.
But barely a minute after his introduction, the 19-year-old broke the deadlock before sprinting away to add his and his team’s second with five minutes left to play.
The double marked Charman’s return to action, having been out for a month through injury.
“It’s a massive relief. I’ve been out for three or four weeks with injury, and I started training again on Friday. It just feels class to get back into it,” he told nufc.co.uk. “To score as soon as I came on and then again after that, it feels unbelievable.
“It’s been hard watching the lads play. I played against Wolves (in January), but I’d had three weeks off before that as well. Hopefully I can get a good run of games and start scoring some more goals now.”
Charman’s impact was an immediate one, as he put the Magpies ahead after taking advantage of some uncertainty in the Southampton backline.
“I was watching the first half and I was thinking to myself that I could score and change the game a bit,” explained the teenage frontman. “When I came on, I was just looking to shoot as much as I could and just try and score really, to get us through to the next round.
“I didn’t think I’d score as quickly as that, but I thought I could bring something different to the game. Hopefully I did that.
“When you’re watching the game, you pick up on things you know you can do well and their weaknesses and things. When I came on I just wanted to run and the centre halves, get shots off, stretch them and make some opportunities.
“For the second goal, I was in quite a bit of space, and all my ideas when I was running just seemed to work. I was going to square it to Haris (Vuckic), but I heard Pete (Beardsley) shout from the side ‘go yourself’ so I thought I’d have the shot. Thankfully, it went in.”
The win sends United through to the knockout stage of the competition.
And Charman believes that, should they maintain the level of performance they showed against the Saints, they’ll be a match for anyone in the latter stages of the Premier League Cup.
“Defensively, we were absolutely solid – we didn’t have any trouble, and Matz (Sels) didn’t have a save to make. The second half was probably the best we’ve played all season,” he said.
“We kept the ball, passed and moved, and played from the back. I thought we played really well, and if we keep playing like that, I don’t think there’ll be too many teams who can stop us.”
“It’s a massive relief. I’ve been out for three or four weeks with injury, and I started training again on Friday. It just feels class to get back into it."