Alex McLeish has said that Nathan Baker has shown he will have a fine career in the Premier League following his recent performances, but of course, he has more to learn.
Speaking to the Official Site McLeish said the 20 year old had a very good chance of staking a claim for a regular spot next season after his development this term:
‘You look at him and he could be a male model, but he’s got to be an ugly centre half for us. I think he’s coped and gone in there with the big guys against Chelsea and Man United and coped pretty well and come through it. He’s had a big introduction, just like a lot of the young players, and I think he’d done well.’
McLeish adds that rightly Baker is ambitious and giving his all in training, and it’s exactly the sort of attitude he wants to see:
‘He’s got to see his recent introduction as a real chance for him and playing regularly has got to be an ambition and a goal for him. If I thought he was too laid back and he wasn’t really bothered then I’d be worried, but I’d like to think that he’s targeting that position to be his own and why not because that creates healthy competition.’
McLeish is insisting though that Baker can’t rest now, if anything he has to redouble his efforts and show he can make the improvements to his game that he needs to. But one thing is his favour is his positioning:
‘He’s still got one or two things that will occur and he’s got to learn quickly from those. The good thing about him is his positioning has been good for a young lad. A lot of times you see centre halves and they go and block things and do last gasp stuff, whereas I think his positioning has been really good. I’ve seen a big improvement since the start of the season and his spell with Millwall.’
Really would be nice if we got to see Baker and Clark in the centre so they can rekindle their reserve league winning partnership, but I doubt we will see that this season now though.
Not sure whether Baker has done enough to be considered a first choice next campaign, but he’s certainly done himself no harm so far and I’d have thought he’s done enough to progress as back up.
Nathan Baker thread Click Here.
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