Date: 6th January 2014 at 10:37pm
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Manager Lee Johnson has said that despite the own goal, James Tarkowski should be immensely proud of his performance against Liverpool.

Then again he feels he should be proud of his efforts all season long as well, and despite the speculation that he’ll be moving on this window, the gaffer has no intention of letting him leave, but does realise he’d have won himself even more fans following the Liverpool game.

The 21 year old has been linked with a number of clubs from the leagues above, not least Liverpool themselves, but the gaffer believes that the reported £2million valued player is better off staying at the club and continuing to play regularly and developing further before he makes – what he feels – is an inevitable move into the top flight.

‘I expect him to stay, he has got another stage of his development to go yet, to be ready for that level. But who knows? He showed here that he wouldn’t have been out of place in their team.’

Johnson adds that when speculation mounts it is difficult for young players to remain focused when they are making headlines as it’s natural for anybody to start wondering ‘what if’ a big money move came along, so he appreciates the pressure it puts Tarks under – especially playing against a side linked with him, but despite the own goal on the day, and a couple of ‘indifferent’ by his own standards matches lately, he knows form fluctuations like that are part of a players development and he feels that anybody watching him will see that he has ‘every attribute’ to go as high as he wants in this game, as long as he keeps his head knuckled down and keeps working hard.

As for the own goal specifically and his performance against Liverpool, the gaffer adds.

‘It was unlucky. They (Liverpool) are always going to have a bit of quality and I’m not sitting here saying we outplayed Liverpool because they had a fair amount of shots, but we put our bodies on the line and we had numbers doubling up defending. Sometimes that happens and he’s been unlucky on the day, but I thought he was excellent, he’s such a good player and he’s got a really bright future.’