Nerveless Clarke-Harris proud to prove doubters wrong as he fires Posh back to the Championship
Jonson Clarke-Harris was proud to have proved his doubters wrong after his goals fired Posh back to the Championship after eight long seasons away.
Clarke-Harris has been one of Posh’s stars of the season. His two goals today (May 1) took him to 31 goals in 45 league matches (33 in all competitions). He’s the first Posh player for 60 years to reach 30 Football League goals in a season.
His goalscoring made the transition from Ivan Toney’s departure as smooth as possible and the 26-year-old was rewarded with the League One ‘Player of the Season’ prize this week.
And Clarke-Harris was Posh’s hero again today with a goal from a free-kick to make the score 2-3 but more importantly, he kept his nerve to smash home the 96th minute penalty to get Posh the crucial point from a 3-3 draw that secured promotion from League One.
Clarke-Harris said: “The game was done at 3-0 down. In my own head, I started planning for Doncaster away. That’s what can happen though. How many times have we been down going into half-time and then come back and got something this season?
“As soon as we got that first goal, we started to believe. We’d worked so hard all year we were determined not to throw it away. We know we can ‘bop’ any team in this division if we get things right.
“Scoring that penalty was massive. ‘Dembs’ (Siriki Dembele) asked if he could have it and the last time he did that I missed, but I wasn’t going to miss this one. Not a chance. I was a full of confidence. I didn’t feel any pressure. I’m one of the leaders in this team so I had to take it on.
“I can remember when I first signed there were a lot of doubters so I’ve come this season and done what I needed to do.
“I say to all the people who have doubted me in my life and my career, how’s that?
“For me, it’s a special moment. I can go home tonight and be proud of myself. I’ve been very motivated this year.
“I’ve had a point to prove, and not just because of Ivan Toney. It’s tough for a club to lose a striker of that level and the club put their faith in me and I delivered.
“I’ve been consistent the whole year and stuck to my path. Go back and listen to the interview when I first signed. I said I’m here to work hard, get promoted and score goals.
“I’ve been speaking my whole career about consistency of games. I was young a couple of years ago when I was in the Championship, I damaged knee ligamenst and never got that consistency back.
“I went to Coventry and it was up and down. Bristol Rovers gave me a big part to play and gave me the confidence and consistent run of games as well as the belief I could score goals and that’s why I knew I could do it here as well.
“I can’t even take it all in right now and can’t wait to call my family who have never doubted me. I’ve doubted myself at times but they never have. It’ll probably sink in soon.
“The team has been marvellous this year and I couldn’t have done what I have without those boys in the changing room.”