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Gareth and Tjay delighted by Stevenage result

The Chairboys manager and newest debutant reflect on a memorable evening.

25 August 2021

It was a special night for Chairboys debutant Tjar De Barr, as he put the Blues level in stoppage time to force penalties against Stevenage, before converting the fifth spot kick to send the team through to the next round of the Carabao Cup.

Manager Gareth Ainsworth was full of praise for the player, whose header hit the back of the net in the 90+4 minute.

“Tjay made his debut and what a debut that was for him. He’s only young and hasn’t ever played in the English leagues but he’s made an impact tonight by scoring that goal and the winning penalty.”

De Barr is another player who’s made steps up from the development squad towards starting XI during pre-season, and Ainsworth was honest in the fact that the Gibraltarian was a complete unknown.

“I played with Tjay’s agent at Cambridge and he gave me a call and said ‘I’ve got an absolute wildcard for you.’ Tjay De Barr - nobody had ever heard of him, and as usual I passed the young ones onto Sam Grace.

“So, bringing him in is a learning process and he always seems to be in the right place at the right time which is what we saw tonight - he got on the end of that cross - he’s read it really well.“

The youngster, however, was adamant that his involvement was minimal, and that the ball provided by Daryl Horgan was the hard part.

“It was a beautiful cross - it was laid on a plate for me - he did the hard bit and I think I did the easy bit. I’m obviously grateful for his assist and it was a lovely ball.”

Ainsworth didn’t provide too much of a brief as the number 29 entered the fray, but he certainly had the impact that the Chairboys needed.

“He just told me to play my game really - we all know what we need to do before coming on - he just said stick to the game plan and be energetic.”

It was certainly a dream debut, and Tjay is looking forward to continuing his time with the club and fighting for his place in the squad.

“I’m buzzing! I was very happy to get on and to get the opportunity and play football which I love doing. I’m humbled and grateful to the manager for being able to give me that opportunity which I’ve been waiting and fighting for.

“I’m just grateful to be here and enjoying the journey because it’s a beautiful journey that I’m living.”

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