Motherwell FC's Craig Tanner has revealed that his crucial point saving penalty against Dundee on Saturday was the first time he’d taken a spot kick in senior pro football.
Winger Tanner (23), who equalised in the 1-1 Scottish Premiership draw at a windswept Fir Park on Saturday, produced an outstanding display as the injury ravaged Steelmen earned a much needed point having lost their previous four league matches.
“There was definitely a bit of pressure on me taking that penalty,” said the former Reading man.
“I think that’s my first penalty I’ve ever taken in professional football.
“But I stepped up and I was confident. I practised them yesterday and luckily it went to plan.
“I think I’m starting to find my feet now. I think that’s my first back to back 90 minutes so it’s good to get that in the legs and get the confidence back.
“Against Dundee I thought we lacked maybe a little bit of quality in the final third at times. But with the weather conditions and the wind it’s not always easy.
“And when you end up pretty much going down to eight men due to injury, especially to key personnel like Elliott Frear, Chris Cadden, Trevor Carson and Peter Hartley, overall we’ll take the draw.”
Tanner praised defensive powerhouse Cedric Kipre and goalkeeper Trevor Carson – who produced a wonderful late stop from a Josh Meekings header – for their fine displays against the Dee.
“Cedric is a man mountain and he’s a beast,” he added.
“I don’t enjoy playing against him on a regular basis so I don’t know what the opposition feel like. I think he was a bit of a Rolls Royce today.
“And Trevor was fanastic. For me he’s the best goalkeeper in the league.
“And that was Trevor 80 per cent fit. So I can’t wait for him to get back to 100 per cent.
“It just boosts your confidence knowing you’ve got a keeper who can pull off world class saves like that.
“Trev’s distribution is phenomenal and a really key part of his game, he’s outstanding.
“When he threw the ball – wind assisted – practically the full length of the park to George Newell, I didn’t know he had that sort of throw in him so I think he caught me and George off guard.”
Tanner and his eighth placed team-mates now face two quick league games back to back, against Rangers at Ibrox tonight (Wednesday) and at home to Hamilton Accies this Saturday.
“Obviously the lads have been superb throughout the season,” he added.
“We have two games left before the winter break and we want to take six points from that and see where we are in January.”