Sarll: Kennedy is a threat but sometimes needs to make ‘better decisions’

Ben Kennedy in recent action against Portsmouth

Ben Kennedy in recent action against Portsmouth - Credit: Archant

Darren Sarll says that Ben Kennedy’s desire to ‘take on the world on his own’ is admirable but believes the striker sometimes needs to ‘slow his mind down and make better decisions’.

The 19-year-old made his first start for Boro since before Christmas due to a knee injury against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday where he led the attack in a central striking role.

Sarll showed faith in the teenager by starting him ahead of strikers Byron Harrison, Adam Marriott and new Hull City loanee Greg Luer, but the youngster seemed to be more of a threat when he was moved on to the wing in the second half to accommodate the introduction of Harrison.

He had come up against the imposing Aaron Pierre in the first period and got little luck out of the defender, but when moved out wide he found pockets of space in which to influence the game more.

However, on the one occasion when he did get his head down and run at the defence he was booked for diving in the box when, had he looked up to his right, he would have seen substitute Harrison in an ideal position to receive the ball.

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Sarll said: “The thing I love about Ben is he wants to take on the world and change it on his own.

“It’s a great temperament to have, but in certain situations he needs to gather his thoughts, slow his mind down and make better decisions.”

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Boro’s caretaker boss added: “He has got to understand that he’s part of a team, and I thought he got better as the game went on.

“He’s always a threat and someone you want on your team. The boy being 19 sort of defies logic really the way that he plays, with his fearlessness and temperament.

“That was a barrage, and we have to make sure we give him the time to recover to carry on and get better for next Saturday.”

Asked if Kennedy lacked support in the first half, Sarll added: “When you come to Wycombe you have to repel a certain threat. It’s very similar to the threat we used to carry in terms of that directness.

“Once you’ve done that you have to try to be brave on the ball. I want us to be a good football team. I want my team to try to pass it. In the first half we didn’t really repel their game plan enough in order for us to get the ball and have opportunities in the game to implement what we wanted to do.”

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