Homework pays off for Etuhu

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant has praised the contribution made by midfielder Dickson Etuhu - a player he claims is benefiting from doing his homework. The City boss says the 24-year-old has been forced to play through the pain barrier during a season in which he has started more games than any other player.

CHRIS LAKEY

By CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant has praised the contribution made by midfielder Dickson Etuhu - a player he claims is benefiting from doing his homework.

The City boss says the 24-year-old has been forced to play through the pain barrier during a season in which he has started more games than any other player.

“The big man has been terrific,” said Grant. “He has played in games he shouldn't have played. I think he has missed one game or something, two games maximum.

“He has down time in training because he has been carrying an injury - he has a terrible wrist problem as well, you see he wears the padding on his wrist and it is something we maybe need to get operated on this summer because even when he falls he is in terrible pain.

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“He has shown great character this season in everything he has done and I thought he got his just rewards for it.”

Grant says the statistics prove that Etuhu is one of the hardest workers in the Championship.

“He works ever so hard - I am surprised he can train as well as he does because of the energy he uses in games. That has been proved by the ProZone stats we do. He is right up the top with anybody in the league, never mind this team, in the kilometres he runs in games, consistently.

“I think that is why he is desperate to play and he deserves great credit for that because he should not be training at times and he just wants to be out on the training field.”

Etuhu hasn't always been universally accepted by the City support since his loan from Preston at the end of 2005 was turned into a permanent £450,000 transfer.

However, there are regular of interest from Premiership clubs - and Grant says the player is finally seeing the rewards of his efforts.

“I think the biggest thing is that people are starting to understand what he is about and that is starting to help him,” he said. “I just think he wants to be told.

“We do the ProZone and it is like homework to him: he comes in and gets his disk after every game to see how he can improve, on everything, from his fitness stats, to his passing, to the amount of ball he is giving away, to the amount of ball he has kept. All of these things he does consistently and he is getting his reward for it.

“It is like school - you go to school and the teacher gives you homework. You go and practise and you go and think about it. I want thinking players here. He is getting his rewards but people don't see that, they only see you for 90 minutes. He trains ever so well, he asks questions in training, he goes and reflects in his own performance straight after the game.

“If you do that as footballer you have a massive chance and that's why he is getting these performances. It is not by luck he is getting these performances, it is with the effort he is putting in. If you practise properly you will reap the rewards. People used to say practice makes perfection. I disagree with that - perfect practice does. He is doing that ever so well and it is not just us telling him, he is going and finding out himself as well.”