Swansea manager Michael Laudrup felt the need to deliver a half-time pep talk to Jonjo Shelvey as the midfielder went from hero to villain and back again in a thrilling 2-2 draw with his former club Liverpool at the Liberty Stadium.
Much of the pre-match build-up had centred on Shelvey’s first appearance against the Reds since his summer move to south Wales, and he made a dream start as he fired the home side ahead after 87 seconds.
But just 99 seconds later his woeful backpass allowed Daniel Sturridge to equalise, and another misplaced pass saw Victor Moses put the Reds ahead on his debut.
Shelvey was left with his head in his hands and the visitors led 2-1 at the break, but he responded by teeing up Michu for an equaliser with a surging run and astute cushioned header.
Laudrup praised the 21-year-old’s character, but admitted he had a word with the ex-Charlton man at the interval.
“It was a difficult half for him,” he said.
“But I said ‘there is no problem, go out there, you still have 45 minutes to turn it around’.
“He knew only he could bring himself back into the game and it was a fantastic reaction to pull himself together.
“It says a lot about him, he is still very young and he will be stronger for this game.”
Shelvey apologised to the Swansea fans after the game, telling Sky Sports 1: “I just want to say sorry to the Swansea fans for two bad mistakes.
“We started tremendous, getting the goal, but then I’ve made two mistakes.
“Then I showed a bit of character, getting on the ball and setting the goal up. It’s a bit of a relief but feel I’ve given Liverpool a draw really.”
But Laudrup felt he had nothing to reproach himself for.
“He had no need to do that,” said the Dane.
“Nobody makes mistakes on purpose but it shows how he is.
“The most important thing was his reaction. It’s difficult after a first half like that. You feel you could have done better but I said there were 45 more minutes and we dominated the last 25 minutes of the game.”
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers added: “He kept going, bless him. He is a terrific boy who made a brave decision to leave a club like Liverpool and nights like this are why he left, to learn.
“He took his goal well but when you play against good players they can punish you and Sturridge is lethal and will be one of the top strikers in Europe over the next few years.
“But Jonjo will prove to be a very good player.”