LUKAS Jutkiewicz bagged a goal that ex-team-mates Gareth Bale or Theo Walcott would have been proud of – but dearly wishes it had counted towards three points.
The on-loan Middlesbrough striker produced a rare moment of magic on a frustrating afternoon to send Wanderers into a two-goal lead against Bournemouth with a sublime lob over Lee Camp on his home debut.
But the one-time Southampton trainee, who cut his teeth alongside the multi-millionaires Bale and Walcott at St Mary’s, was left just as annoyed as the rest of us when the visitors recovered to take a draw back to the south coast.
“It’s great to have scored but ultimately you want it to be a winning goal so it was frustrating on that front,” he said.
“But it was good to get off the mark because I wanted to make a good impression on these fans.
“Bournemouth had a lot of play after they got the goal back. We tried to rectify it but they passed the ball really well as a team.
“It was a poor (second) goal from a corner which was really frustrating. I thought we were going to go on and win the game at 2-0.
“It’s a situation that requires everyone to stand up and be counted. There is no easy way out of these situations. We have to work hard and dig in.”
When Jutkiewicz arrived at the Reebok, many Wanderers fans looked at his goalscoring record at Boro this season – one goal in 24 appearances – and wondered what they were getting.
But the 22-year-old believes he was not given a fair crack of the whip at the Riverside and will get more goals if he is given a more regular start for Wanderers.
“I haven’t played a lot of games at Middlesbrough,” he said. “I came off the bench for maybe five or 10 minutes. It was frustrating.
“The stats often show a certain amount of games you have played but what they don’t show is it was only for about five or 10 minutes the majority of the time."
Jutkiewicz would swap his own goal-scoring record for that of Dougie Freedman during his playing career.
Pressure continues to build on the manager who brought him to the club but the on-loan front man believes he is learning under his tutelage.
“I have got a lot to thank the manager for because he’s brought me in and shown his faith in me,” he said. “We need to repay him.
“I was looking forward to working with someone who was prolific as a striker and as a good player.
“We had a couple of good chats and he is talked to me about a couple of things. Nothing major but bits that can help you.
“You would take his goalscoring record any day of the week. He was a real poacher and they all count. Ultimately you want to try to score as many as you can.”
Likewise, Jutkiewicz could perhaps call on some advice from Real Madrid superstar Bale or Arsenal and England striker Walcott – both friends from his Saints days as a 14 and 15 year old.
“We were all in the same team at Southampton together,” he said. “We had a good side but it is incredible what they have gone on to achieve, especially Gareth.
“You could always tell he was a talented player but you wouldn’t have guessed he has gone on to do the incredible things he has done. But I am delighted for him.
“We were really close when we played together; he was one of my closer friends. I saw him maybe two or three years ago and had a really good catch up but I haven’t really kept in touch.”