Grimsby Town manager Michael Jolley says James McKeown has enhanced his legend status, after he made two penalty saves to help the Mariners get through to Carabao Cup round three.
The Mariners beat Macclesfield Town 5-4 on penalties in Carabao Cup round two at Blundell Park to set up a round three tie with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, September 25 (7.45pm).
And Town boss Jolley has praised captain James McKeown, after he made two crucial penalty saves against the Silkmen.
Speaking on iFollow Mariners, he said: “Penalty shootout – it’s a 50-50 situation, I think our players held their nerve really well.
“Obviously our goalkeeper, James McKeown made two fantastic saves.
“Well done to all our players tonight and they’ve got a big date in their diaries to look forward to.
“Fair play to Sam Russell as well because Macclesfield have been involved in a few penalty shootouts so Sam did a lot of homework on their penalty-takers.
“And Macca’s delivered and executed it really well, so he’s already a club legend and tonight just adds to that a little bit more.
“I was pleased with our second-half performance and how we got on top of the game.
“And we had several good chances to score – one that was close to the line from Moses Ogbu.
“Max Wright came on and had an amazing run and a chance to score, and one or two others as well.
“I felt, on the balance of play, we were the better team in the second half.”
Jolley said it will be a special day when the Mariners go up against Frank Lampard’s men, who are the current reigning UEFA Europa League champions.
He said: “It’s exciting. I’m delighted for our supporters to go down to Chelsea.
“We went to Crystal Palace in January so it’s another great occasion for them.
“But I’m also pleased for the people who work at the club and I’m pleased that we’ve helped bring another day like this for them.
“So it’s good to have good days like playing against Chelsea.”
And Jolley praised Macclesfield Town and manager Daryl McMahon for their touch of class after the final whistle.
“Daryl McMahon and his team showed a lot of class tonight, and after the game in particular.
“They wished us well and good luck for the game against Chelsea.
“And it would’ve been difficult to do that in the moment when you’ve just lost the game.
“So I have a huge amount of respect for their manager and their team in that moment.
“And also the way they play – they’re a good team and they’ve got some good players, so I’ve got a lot of respect for them.”
Watch the full press conference for free on iFollow Mariners.