Manager Gary Johnson has told his new striker Andrew Nelson to ‘calm down’ after he took the former Sunderland and Dundee forward off moments after a first-half booking in Torquay United’s 3-2 pre-season win over Hemel Hempstead Town behind-closed-doors at Plainmoor.
Nelson, 22, was cautioned after an off-the-ball spat with Hemel defender Ryan Sellers, and Johnson lost no time in replacing him with his latest signing, ex-Charlton and Ebbsfleet striker Josh Umerah.
“Andrew Nelson is trying so hard to impress that he got involved in a shenanigan. You can’t do that, because in the National League, he would have been sent off,” said Johnson.
“He will learn and he’s got to calm down a little bit, but I believe in him.
“He’s got to get not so aerated over that sort of incident.”
United, who used four of their under-18s team as second-half subs, won after falling behind with goals by Danny Wright (pen), Kyle Cameron and Umerah.
“You could see that, at some point, they were fading and feeling sorry for themselves, but we picked them up at half-time and said ‘You are not coming off, you are staying on - I will decide when you come off’,” said Johnson.
“I took people to their limits as far as 90 minutes was concerned.
“We have a few people not playing and training at the moment, but we should have a couple more back on Monday.
“Hemel were strong and very busy early on, and you could see that they’d already played two games and this was our first. It certainly was a competitive game.
“But I always felt we had the upper hand in quality and passing the ball. In the second half, we were a lot more incisive and to score three goals was good.
“To have the four kids as part of our group was fantastic - I was really pleased with that, because they didn’t let us down.”