Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said teenage midfielder Jack Thomas is now starting to get back to his best.
Thomas, who came on as a substitute and grabbed the 89th minute equaliser in Tuesday night’s fine 2-2 draw at Oxford United, won player of the year last season.
However, the 19-year-old has struggled to win a regular place this season and ahead of tomorrow’s game at Plymouth Argyle, Murray said: “I think this season has been a massive learning curve for Jack.
“It’s the case with all young kids that he probably got through at a time he didn’t expect to go in.
“He dealt with a lot on his own shoulders brilliantly and this year he has had to take a step back to go again.
“But he looks strong at the minute and he’s doing everything right off the pitch, the extra work, his strength and conditioning and his focus is there at the minute.
“So it’s been a massive 12 months for Jack.”
Thomas and both of the other substitutes on Tuesday, all played a massive part in the draw and Murray added: “We’ve had that all season – the subs have shown we are a very tight knit group.
“The people coming off the bench all season have made an impact, so that’s good to see. It shows everyone is on the same page and buying in.
“I think you saw the reaction after the second goal – everyone was over the moon for Jack.
“It was a really good point – now we move swiftly on to another big one.”