Max Dean gave his coaches food for thought on Tuesday night after his brace helped MK Dons to a 4-1 victory over Chelsea U21s in the EFL Trophy.
The teenager had not kicked a ball for Graham Alexander’s side this season prior to his appearance on 62 minutes at Stadium MK, but he made an almost immediate impact, finding the back of the net to make it 3-1 just eight minutes after coming on.
His second, coming ten minutes later was a quite brilliant finish, capitalising on some sloppy Chelsea defending to bend in a cracking right-footed strike past keeper Eddie Beach.
Popular amongst the supporters, Dean’s performance will only turn up the volume on those clamouring for him to get more game time.
Speaking afterwards, assistant head coach Chris Lucketti said the former Leeds United man did exactly what was needed of him.
“He came on and straight away made an impact, which is what you want to see from the subs,” said Lucketti afterwards. “He's been training really well, and he's been unlucky not to get more opportunities than he's had.
“He came on and it's all about taking those opportunities when they come about. He's scored two great goals, could have had a third and made an instant impact, and a credit to him for that.”
It was an important night for the Dons strikers. While Mo Eisa was left out of the side after limping off against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, both Jonathan Leko and Matt Dennis found the net during the win - Leko also turning provider for Dean’s first - with the club still seeking reinforcements up front before Friday’s transfer deadline.
Lucketti added: “It's important the strikers get goals. With Matt Dennis getting the winner a few weeks ago, he scored a great goal tonight.
“And Jon had a number of great chances and could have found the net more often than he has done, but it was important for him, confidence-wise that he finds the back of the net tonight, and hopefully he carries on from here.”