Jed Wallace is confident that Nouha Dicko is almost back to his best after lining up alongside the striker in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy win at Crewe.
Wallace and Dicko, albeit only 22 and 24 respectively, were among the over-age players involved in Tuesday’s 3-2 win, in which the striker, who returned to first team action after over a year out as a substitute against Norwich, notched a brace.
“The biggest positive for me the other night was Nouha’s performance,” said Wallace.
“And it wasn’t only his goals.
“A couple of times the ball went in behind and he was chasing it and looked back to his old self.
“I said to him afterwards – he looks only a few training sessions away from being back to his best.
“He looked quick and strong, and the goals can only help with his confidence.”
Wallace also impressed during the victory at the Alexandra Stadium, and is keen to continue to press his own claims for a first team return.
“For me, Silvio, Sav and Lonners, it was about getting out there on Tuesday night and getting some minutes in,” said the midfielder.
“We’ve not been getting games for the first team and it is important to carry on playing.
“It was for us to set an example to the young lads in the team and they more than matched it.
“It was a good learning curve for us, and for them, and I really enjoyed playing with a lot of good, young players at the football club.
“Every time you play a game of football you have to take something out of it.
“Dicko hadn’t played for a year, and when you think of that, it helps motivate you to go out and give your very best.
“Then there is the hard work being done by people like Michal (Zyro) and Jordan (Graham) as well that the fans don’t see, and it makes you realise you can never take anything for granted.
“You have to enjoy it as much as you can, and make the most of it.”
In terms of his own claims Wallace added: “The keeper made a couple of decent saves from me but I just wanted to get 90 minutes into my legs and it was good to get a win to top it off.
“I want to be in the first team, like anyone, and the other lads playing will be the same.
“We all want to be banging on the first team door.
“Games like Crewe are when you have to take your chance and try and impress and I think we all put in good performances.
“That information goes back to the gaffer and then we will see what happens in training next week.”