Newcastle United loanee Max Thompson relishing his big opportunity with the Cobblers

To go by the scoreline alone would be a deeply unfair way to judge Max Thompson’s first outing for the Cobblers.
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No goalkeeper wants to concede three goals in any game, not least on their senior debut, but a back post tap-in, an unfortunate ricochet and an incredible long-range strike left Thompson with very little chance in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Swansea City.

Outside of those moments, he did about as well as could have been expected and showed impressive calmness and assurance for someone who turned 19 just last week.

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"I found out probably two or three hours before kick-off that I was playing," said Thompson, who joined Cobblers on loan from Newcastle United on Monday. "The nerves weren't too bad.

Max ThompsonMax Thompson
Max Thompson

"I just went into game mode. It's a game of football, I've done it hundreds of times before, so there was no need change what I do just because it was my senior debut.

"I'm proud to say that I've made my senior debut now and that's something you strive for. It's a bit bittersweet with it being a defeat but unfortunately that's just part of football sometimes and now I want to kick on and play as many games as I can.

"My parents and one or two of my friends came to watch me. They drove down after finding out there was a chance I would play. It's a bit of a trek but I'm close to them all and I was happy that they were able to come and see me make my debut."

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Thompson only heard of Cobblers’ interest at short notice, but he was keen to make the move happen.

"I found out last week,” he explained. “I got the call on Thursday and drove down the following day and then we were trying to get all of the paperwork through.

"It was a bit of a rush to get it done before the deadline so I could play against Swansea but it happened quickly in the end and I'm happy to have made the move here.”

Even if he spends most of his time as back-up to Lee Burge, Thompson will still learn plenty at Sixfields.

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But like any player, the teenager won’t be happy sitting on the bench every week.

He added: "It's all about the opportunity when you go out on loan to gain some experience, whether that's playing games or just being around the squad.

"It's a different dynamic being around first-team footballers and I want to experience that, see what I can learn and then see what happens when I go back to Newcastle.

"I've come to the club as a number two, which in itself is still a good experience for me, but sitting on the bench is not something any player wants to do so of course I'm going to work hard and see if I can get that number one spot and play more games.

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"Maybe I'll then look at another loan, possibly come back here, or try and push on back at Newcastle."

Reflecting on his debut, Thompson added: "They were tough goals to concede. A couple of them were from cutbacks, which are tough for any keeper to save, and then in the last minute he's put it into the top corner.

"There will always be things I can do to try and prevent those goals, whether it's something in the build-up play or the actual shot itself, so I'll have to review my performance and see if there's anything I can tweak."​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​