DANNY INGS will emerge stronger from the misery of his penalty miss for Bournemouth against Town on Saturday.
That’s the view of Cherries assistant manager Steve Fletcher ahead of a second leg which could go to a spot-kick shoot-out (there is extra time if necessary, but no away goals rule).
Ian Bennett dived to his right to push away the teenager’s first-half effort after the kick had been delayed as players from both sides jostled for position on the edge of the area.
Fletcher, right-hand man to Lee Bradbury, said: “From their point of view, you would say it was clever. From ours, we shouldn’t have got involved.
“In Danny’s defence, he had to wait a long time to take the penalty and a lot can go through your mind in a couple of minutes. He hit it well and it was a great save.
“I felt sorry for him but this will make him a stronger person. He is a big character and has come a long way in such a short space of time.
“He will be positive, we will make sure of that. Bradders and myself will put an arm around him and the boys have already spoken to him.
“These things happen to the best players at World Cup finals. It happened to Danny in a play-off semi-final but he was brave and took the ball.”
Bennett also saved a penalty by Ashley Barnes during Town’s recent 3-2 win at Brighton, only for the Seagulls striker to head in the rebound.
Town’s last penalty shoot-out was in last season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second-round clash at Chesterfield. They went down 4-2 on penalties after the tie itself finished 3-3.
Boss Lee Clark confirmed they have been practising for that eventuality but pointed out: “It’s impossible to replicate the conditions of a shoot-out.
“Of course we work on penalties, because they come up during a season in any case.
“But often who takes them in a shoot-out can be down to who is confident to do it.
“Sometimes a player is having a flyer and taking one feels right, other times not so much.
“It’s about having flexibility should the situation arise and that’s what we’ve tried to do.”