RICKY Shakes was thrilled to finally open his Swindon Town scoring account and immediately praised Iffy Onuora for his tremendous show of faith in him.
The 21-year-old headed home the opener against Doncaster Rovers and said the longer his run in the starting XI the greater his confidence continued to swell.
Onuora feels Shakes has come on ‘leaps and bounds’ and the youngster himself is growing in stature with each passing game.
However, you won’t find a player who thinks the hard part has been achieved as a result of a few good performances, individually or as a team.
He said: “All the lads are delighted and we just have to keep it going. We’re moving up gradually but there’s still a lot to do.”
Shakes has now started nine of the last 10 matches and that’s no coincidence when it comes to assessing his form.
He said: “It is helping my game and I’m really getting my confidence.”
It wasn’t the first time Shakes found the net for Town but an effort back in October against Sc**thorpe United was ruled out because the referee had already blown to award Town a penalty.
However, he wasn’t to be denied this time and the County Ground erupted in delight.
He said: “I don’t get many with my head although I did score with a header on loan at Bury last season.
“A regular run is definitely helping my game and I’m getting my confidence.
“There were a lot of young players in at the start of the season. We’ve had to learn quite quickly.
“The gaffer (Onuora) believed in all of us, me included, and we’ve done the business for him.”
Shakes felt his efforts should have earned Town a penalty, only for the referee to wave away handball claims as the wide man’s cross slammed into the arm of Doncaster’s Jason Price.
He said: “I thought it was a penalty. I thought the lad put his arm up.
“But we dominated the first half, got a second but it was a bit anxious at the end.
“We’ve got the result we wanted in the end though.”
Shakes remains hopeful of a World Cup warm-up call-up when Trinidad play Iceland later this month.
He said: “I haven’t heard any more at the moment. It would be a good experience though.”
The final word was for his fellow scorer and flat mate Charlie Comyn-Platt.
He said: “Yes, a good day for the Bolton boys.”