SHOLA Shoretire has shown right away that he can provide more than just a “sprinkle of magic dust” to the Wanderers attack. 

The Manchester United teenager had a full debut to remember on Tuesday night as he delighted the crowd with his link-up play early in the game, then had to pitch-in with a team defensive effort to protect a 1-0 lead with 10 men after the controversial dismissal of Dion Charles. 

Before being replaced by Kieran Lee, Shoretire had surprised Ian Evatt by how well he helped the team keep shape in their own half, a key factor which led to them preserving a club record seventh home clean sheet in a row. 

“We brought Shola, as I have said before, because he brings something to our midfield area that we haven’t really had before,” the manager explained. 

“For the first 25 minutes I think he showed everyone what he is going to bring to this team, the 360 ability to turn in the centre of the pitch, dictate play, dribble, find the killer pass, and I think there were glimpses to get excited about. I hope the fans see that now, with Shola. 

“The most pleasing part, for me, was the way he bought into the out-of-possession stuff after that, because he hasn’t been with us that long. 

“Manchester United would never really be in a low block and have to press from there. But he understood, he is intelligent, and I think it was a fantastic performance.” 

Evatt explained that Declan John’s surprise appearance on the substitute’s bench against Forest Green had not been down to an injury to Owen Beck. 

“We just thought we would end up having a lot of possession, obviously before what actually happened on the night, so we thought someone who could have more of the ball and more of an effect on the game going forwards, that’s why we went with Declan.” 

Evatt was also happy to bring Ricardo Santos and Gethin Jones back into the side from the start after illness and injury had kept them both out of action for several weeks. 

“They deserve a lot of credit because they have been out of a team which has been doing very well, defensively, and sometimes that can make you feel a little bit forgotten. 

“I think they showed everyone what good players they were.”