Zayed: Armstrong has a bright future
VETERAN striker Eamon Zayed has predicted a bright future for Sligo Rovers youngster Gary Armstrong after an impressive goal-scoring debut in their weekend hammering of UCD
The young forward has a good pedigree as he's a grandson of Sligo legend Johnny Armstrong and he made an impact by scoring in Saturday's 4-0 win over UCD.
Zayed, Paul O'Conor and Danny Ledwith were also on the scoresheet for Sligo but the impact of youngster Armstrong gave supporters reason to smile at the tail end of what's been a difficult season for Sligo, currently without a permanent manager due to John Coleman's exit last month.
"He's young and still has a lot to learn but he came on against Cork last week and played very well," says Zayed, on loan to Sligo from Shamrock Rovers until the end of the season.
"On Saturday night he carried that on and I am delighted he got the goal but his overall play got better and better as the game went on.
"As a number nine I definitely appreciate someone like that playing in behind me, it makes my job easier. So hopefully he can play like that between now and the end of the season and be a big player for Rovers next year," added Zayed.
"I think he's exactly someone we need, now that John Russell is injured, that can play in between the lines, get on the ball and put in through balls and also score himself. He reminds me a bit of Gareth McGlynn who I played with at Derry City in 2011, he was the best number 10 I've played with and he's a lot like him."
With major changes likely in the off-season at Sligo, Zayed feels that players are playing for their futures at the club but the squad are making an impact under caretaker Gavin Dykes.
"The confidence in the dressing has picked up the last few weeks but it's always been there," Zayed added.
"Gavin Dykes and Ciarán Kelly have come in and in the last few weeks they have instilled that confidence in us. They want us to get the ball down on the ground and play from the back. I think we did that on Saturday and last week so we will look to continue that between now and the end of the season.
"Most people here are out of contract so obviously they are playing for their futures," says Zayed, who feels he has got his career back on track.
"I guess confidence is a big word in football and it took a bit of a battering during the last year at Shamrock Rovers. So I've come here to try and play games, score goals and pick up confidence and I feel it is coming back," he says. "Four goals in nine is ok but it can be better. It's not too bad but I'd like to pick up a few more between now and the end of the season and have a one-in-two record at least. I want to finish the season on a high."