HEAD coach Luke Williams is sure teenage Swindon Town goalkeeper Will Henry has the strength of character to bounce back from Tuesday night’s costly error against League One leaders Sheffield United.
With regular number one Lawrence Vigouroux dropped for a perceived lack of commitment to the Town cause, Henry was thrust into the limelight and forced to make just his second league start of the campaign against the table toppers.
With the hosts having battled back from two goals down to level early in the second half at the County Ground, the revival was cut short when a misjudged pass from Henry to Raphael Branco was intercepted by Jay O’Shea to put the Blades back in front and on the way to a 4-2 victory.
The appearance was just the eighth in 18-year-old Henry’s professional career, having made his first-team debut less than a year ago. He showcased all his qualities that day, saving a penalty in a 2-2 draw at Rochdale.
Henry could yet have a crucial role to play between now and the end of the season if Vigouroux continues to be not considered for selection and Williams has little doubt that the youngster will not be unduly affected by his mistake against the Blades.
“The boys want to play and once you get there, you have to take the opportunity and there is no hiding place,” said Williams.
“We know the boy is really talented, he had a fantastic debut and some good games and he needs to learn from this.
“I am questioning everything at the moment but my belief is that Will is a very strong character.
“He demonstrates every day that he is taking care of his own career and he wants to do well. Every day he is out early to train, every day he is well prepared, every day he wants to know more and asks more questions.
“I have got every reason he has got the drive and strength of character to overcome what was a very difficult game for him. I have got full confidence.”
Alongside Vigouroux, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill and James Brophy were also dropped against the Blades as Williams has reason to question whether the trio are truly behind Town’s battle to beat the drop.
The head coach concedes that he has misjudged members of the Swindon squad but the early signs from Henry have given Williams hope that he can go far in the game.
He said: “I’ve got so many people’s character wrong but I think that Will Henry, unless again I have made completely the wrong assumption, desperately wants to be a professional goalkeeper and have a long career.”