Midfielder speaking after his full League debutOn loan Blackburn Rovers midfielder Darragh Lenihan repaid manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's faith in him with a superb performance on his full Football League debut as the Brewers ran out 3-1 winners at Wycombe Wanderers on Monday evening in front of the Sky TV cameras.
With all eyes on the new manager his first team selection threw up a surprise as 20 year-old Lenihan was paired with 19 year-old Matty Palmer in a youthful looking central midfield partnership and although Palmer walked off with the Man Of The Match award Lenihan himself put in an eye catching performance full of grit and determination. The young pair dominating the more experienced midfield of Wycombe. Afterwards, Darragh spoke of his delight at getting his first start and the result that followed.
"It was terrific for me for my first start. We have been doing a lot of work on shape over the last few days and nobody really knew quite who would be starting until the manager named his team earlier today. Once I got the nod I knew I just had to show him what I can do. This is my big chance and hopefully tonight I have done well. Both me and Matty complement each other well. We worked our socks off and it worked out for us."
Brought in as cover for the injured John Mousinho by previous boss Gary Rowett, Lenihan has obviously caught the eye of the new Brewers boss who will now have the decision of whether to extend Darragh's loan after the game against Luton this weekend and the young Irishman is keen to remain involved at the Pirelli Stadium.
"Fingers crossed this is the start of a run of starts for me now." said Darragh, "I just have to keep going, keep my head down and keep working hard. This is a great club and I would definitely like to stay if the chance is there. At the end of it this club is looking to go up to League One. It shows what we are made of that at the start of the weekend Wycombe were top and we have come here and won 3-1."
"A few of the senior lads at Blackburn told me that I needed to get out on loan and get some experience and they told me that I would develop so much more. I have been here at Burton for three weeks and I think I have developed more so in three weeks here than I have in a good few months at under-21 level."
"Compared to playing in the under-21s - that is a good standard but to have the fans creating an atmosphere makes it a completely different scene. I can really thrive on it. The fans are getting at you from the opposition and that drives me on and hopefully now we can just push on. We knew what Wycombe were all about, they were more direct that the other teams I have played against, like Plymouth, but the manager got his tactics spot on and we dealt with it."
With all the focus at the end of last week on the appointment of the new manager it would have been easy for the game against Wycombe to have become secondary in people's thoughts, but the hard work from the first moment that Hasselbaink hit the training ground has clearly paid off with a clear focus on getting off to a good start.
"The win was the main thing for me tonight." Darragh admitted as he explained the impact of the new man at the helm. "To get the three points and push us back up that League table was what it was all about. I was really pleased with it. The manager, since he has come in, has been terrific. He has worked us hard. We knew exactly what we were doing and it has worked for us and we have come away with the three points. We have also come away and scored three goals against a very tough team in Wycombe who at the start of the weekend were top of the table."
"It has been a fantastic few days since the gaffer came in. With his experience, when you find out that a player like Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is going to be your manager it's exciting. He has taken over a group of players that respects him and he respects us as players and he has shown in his first game his tactics which have worked very well. Hopefully we move on to Luton now and we can do the same again."
"The manager just wants everyone to work hard. Be determined and give 100% is all that he asks and he has got that from us today as you have all seen. He wants us to be relaxed in possession and express ourselves. As a result of that we have scored three goals tonight and got ourselves a very good win."