A SUMMER of reflection could help livewire striker Andre Gray to kick on next season, according to England C manager Paul Fairclough, writes Mark Wood.
The 20-year-old forward netted for England C in a 4-0 win against the British Universities but struggled against Russia U21s in their 4-0 defeat in their Group A International Challenge Trophy match.
Fairclough revealed he hoped to include him in his next squad to face Belgium in September, saying: “I hope so. Everything has happened so quickly and so fast.
“There is a learning theory that when you stop doing things for a period of time learning takes place.
“Hopefully a lot of learning will take place during the close period for the boy. He will be processing a lot of things in his head.
“He is very raw, there’s no question about that. He needs to be coached.
“I think he is willing to learn to be coached and that will help.
“He has got a good temperament with a willing nature to improve.
“He showed us why he has been so successful for yourselves. This was major opposition and if he is going to get better he needs to be exposed to it on a regular basis.”
On what he most needs to improve, Fairclough continued: “The key areas are bringing players into the game. I don’t think anyone doubts his prowess, his pace and bullishness and aggressive running.
“I think he needs to look at how he is going to link up with the rest of the team.”
Gray is clear he knows his own shortcomings and is keen to improve his game.
He said: “That’s what I’ve always known I need to learn, even at Hinckley, and I’m working hard on it.
“I know what I’ve got to work on and could have done better in the game and that’s positive coming out knowing my mistakes and stuff.”
Despite warnings of racism in football in eastern Europe, Gray encountered no problems and enjoyed the experience at the Khimky Arena, home of Dynamo Moscow FC, last Tuesday.
He said: “I don’t think we received any hostile reception or anything so that wasn’t a problem.
“There were a few thousand there and a good atmosphere considering it’s a massive stadium.
“I don’t think anyone would go to Russia out of their own way. I’m glad I’ve been there. It’s a strange place.”
And he’s clear he would love to be involved again, saying: “I would never turn the chance to play for them down knowing what the experience is like.”
Town boss Paul Buckle was just relieved that Gray, who has hit seven goals in 12 games since joining from Hinckley United, came through unscathed.
He added: “I’m glad he didn’t pick up an injury. It was great for the lad, great experience for him. I know the result didn’t go the way they would have liked.
“Every game he learns and he will have gained invaluable experience.
“He has come out of Hinckley and done really well. He has got a lot of learning to do and he is a great lad to work with.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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