Zack Elbouzedi, who turned in a stunning display as we thrashed Shrewsbury 4-1 in the Papa John’s Trophy, has rightly been named Player of the Round by the EFL.
The Irish winger has been forced to wait for his chance, but he seized it with both hands, helping set up a second-round tie with Accrington in the process. Zack bagged one goal and created two with an outing full of power, guile and instinctive finishing.
“I’m delighted to win the award,” Elbouzedi said. “It’s important for the club to win games and do well, but I had a good performance myself and it helped us get through to the next round which is the most important thing for the club.
“The gaffer made a few changes, but everyone who came in did well and showed that when they’re needed they can do a job. It was a good, professional team performance and we really showed what we could do as a team.”
Zack also spoke of the club’s current form, and was glowing in his praise even though it has sadly kept him on the bench for long spells.
“It’s been an unbelievable year so far,” Zack added.
“That momentum and the winning mentality has been unbelievable this season and long may it continue. The club want to get promoted but do it in a sustainable way, so that when we do get to the Championship, we can stay there. The management and the way the club is run so professional and I think that’s why they’ve risen up the leagues in the way that they have.”
Zack has appeared four times for the club this season, making his first league appearance as a late sub in the 4-0 win at Northampton. After impressing in pre-season, he got 75 minutes of our EFL Trophy game against Scunthorpe, as well as 13 minutes at the end of the Forest Green FA Cup win.
He’ll be hoping this award now gives Michael little chance but to give him more time, even at the end of league games, to show exactly what he is all about.