Wellington Phoenix boss Mark Rudan was full of praise for starlet Sarpreet Singh after the teenager produced a man-of-the-match performance against Brisbane Roar on Saturday.
The Phoenix won 4-1 to make it three Hyundai A-League wins on the trot and Singh was at the heart of their latest triumph, with a series of surging forward runs and clever touches crucial.
Singh also scored a late free-kick in his dominant display and Rudan, speaking after the Phoenix climbed to fifth on the table, was delighted with his young gun.
“He’s a little gem, isn’t he? I almost got down on my hands and knees and started bowing as well!” Rudan said.
“It was great to see the fans appreciate his work. The kid is going places and there’s a lot of love from his coach and his teammates as well.
“He just needs to keep his feet on the ground and keep working extremely hard but he deserves all the plaudits as well.
“He really took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half.
“We asked a bit of him. We asked him to be that man that we all know that he can be, irrespective of age, and he certainly did that [in] the second half.”
Rudan was particularly proud of the way his side responded to conceding on the stroke of half time, something he admitted his side struggled to deal with against Adelaide United earlier in the season.
Wellington led 1-0 before Henrique’s 45th-minute strike but bounced back in strong fashion as super sub David Williams, Roy Krishna and Singh all scored after the break.
“Rewind the clock four or five weeks ago against Adelaide, [we conceded in] exactly the same moment,” he said.
“And again, there’s a real good sign of progression, in terms of mentality, that we were able to go out and do a job in the second half.
“It was very important that we moved the ball very quickly in the second half. That we took throw-ins, free-kicks - we just kept them moving all the time.
“They were sensational in the second half. I’m very, very proud of the boys. Good result on the back of a few really good performances.
“The result is just a reward for all the effort in the last few weeks and all the chances that we have been creating.”
Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi was upset with the way his side conceded goals in the match.
“We got done on set pieces. It wasn’t good enough on our behalf,” he said.
Aloisi later added: “I’m upset. I’m angry. I’m angry about the way that we conceded goals.”