Michael O’Neill has heaped his praise on Stoke City striker Jacob Brown, in conversation with Stoke on Trent Live.
Brown, who reached double figures in the league on Saturday during Stoke’s 2-0 victory over Millwall, has featured in 37 Championship games this season, starting 30 of those matches.
The 23-year-old was called up to represent Scotland last November and is also in the 25-man squad for the upcoming fixtures.
Brown’s athleticism and relentlessness has caused havoc in the Championship for a while now, with O’Neill speaking to Stoke on Trent Live about Brown’s continued development, whilst looking ahead to the future: “The reality is that by the time he’s 25 or 26, at the rate he’s developing, he’s going to be a really, really good striker – a top striker. He’s got a lot of natural attributes and he works really diligently with Mark Burton, who’s our individual coach here.
“He puts in an incredible amount of work, whether it’s on video or on the training pitch and he’s improving and learning the game all the time. He’s a brilliant lad, a brilliant player to have.
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“You ask him to do something and you know he’ll do it to his maximum. He’s still developing as a player, because he came into the game late. There are parts of his game that he still needs to work on but there’s no harder working player that I’ve come across in the game.
“Jacob in his head will probably be thinking that he should be on 15, 16 goals this season now. He has missed some chances and he knows that but he keeps putting himself back in those positions and we’re delighted with his contribution.
“He never hides, he is always willing to work and always tries to put himself into goalscoring positions, which is a wonderful trait to have. At times he gives the ball away or makes mistakes but his work and running for the team is terrific and he’s just going to get better.”
As O’Neill says, there is a lot to like about Brown and his game, with the young forward possessing lots of attributes that has seen him emerge as a danger man over the last couple of years.
Brown is also extremely dedicated to fulfilling his potential with his full focus set on bettering himself.
The 23-year-old has 10 league goals this season, and whilst he may believe that he should have converted more, he continues to get in the right places and will not shy away from an opportunity.
Not only does he have a number of physical attributes that have made him so difficult to contain, but he has the right mentality, something that can be criminally underrated.