Swansea City striker Courtney Baker-Richardson says he has proved doubters wrong by scoring on his return from suspension after being shown a red card on his Championship debut.
The 22-year-old scored Swans opener as they beat Queens Park Rangers 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Baker-Richardson was sent off for a dangerous tackle on his first league start, away at Millwall on 1 September.
“Only four minutes on the pitch is not a good reflection of myself and what I do, there was no malice in the tackle [against Millwall].
“It was just trying my hardest and trying to impress, but I said I was going to dust myself off and learn from it and come back stronger.
Baker-Richardson played for Swansea Under-23s after arriving from Leamington in August, 2017 and is among the young players to benefit from the clubs transfer market activity last summer.
After the win over QPR, manager Graham Potter praised Baker-Richardson, saying: “Courtney has different attributes to our other players and he had a bit of a thankless task, but he opened up some space for Oli McBurnie and he did everything asked of him.
“I was pleased he stayed on the field longer than the five minutes he did before he was sent off at Millwall.”
Swansea had 64% possession and it was a failure to retain the ball which the former England manager feels has cost his team over 90 minutes.
Now Baker-Richardson says he hopes for many more goals, starting at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday, 2 October.
If so Baker-Richardson believes he will have proven a point to former critics, including some of his ex-managers.
“Once you take the confidence from the first one, you can avalanche into a goal spree so touch wood, it goes that way for me,” Baker-Richardson said.
McClaren’s side were well beaten and whether it is 1-0 or 8-0, you still get the same amount of points, none.
“I spent three years in the lower leagues. A lot of managers in the lower leagues said I wasnt good enough.
Baker-Richardson expected to be “punched” after that sending off The Den, but was pleasantly surprised by the reaction from Potter and his team-mates
“It just didnt turn out like that. He just patted me on the head and all the players got behind me,” said the player.
“It was great to see such team spirit within the camp, because a lot of teams, more likely the older players sometimes give you a good talking to, but everyone was behind me 100%; it was just dust yourself off like I did against QPR. It shows great spirit in the camp.”
Baker-Richardson said his goal against QPR was “very special” for him, but he did not see his hooked shot go in.
“I was sort-of on the spin so it was like left foot, and I just saw it drop and I thought Oh, Id better start running to the corner flag.
“I mean two seasons ago I was playing in non-leagues, lower than the Conference level [fifth-tier National League] with Leamington, so I have a lot of grace and praise for the people who have helped me along the way and got me to where I am today.”
Baker-Richardson now hopes to help the Welsh club return to the Premier League after relegation last season.
“If we can manage to get back in the Premier League under Graham Potter with this squad, it would be one of the best moments in [the clubs] history.
“A lot of players have left – a lot of big players – and weve come with a young squad into the Championship.
“We dont look like were going to go down and from our aspect, we dont look like were going to lose a game. Were just think win, win, win, win, win.”
I couldnt believe their first goal – that was their first attack and we concede. It was a poor goal to concede.
But McClaren admitted his teams lack of an end product and their consistent giving away of possession proved costly.