Strihavka warming to the task

CHRIS LAKEY Czech import David Strihavka is breaking down the barriers - on and off the field.The 24-year-old striker has only made the bench in City's opening two matches, but manager Peter Grant says he isn't afraid to throw him into the thick of the Championship battle.

CHRIS LAKEY

Czech import David Strihavka is breaking down the barriers - on and off the field.

The 24-year-old striker has only made the bench in City's opening two matches, but manager Peter Grant says he isn't afraid to throw him into the thick of the Championship battle.

“I knew it would take time for him to settle because the Championship is a different beast altogether,” said Grant, who plucked Strihavka from Czech side Banik Ostrava in the summer for a fee thought to be just short of the £1m mark.


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“But I would have no fear in playing him. I think he has proved that in the last few weeks to me and within training, he is ready to play.”

Strihavka is part of a competitive attack assembled by Grant, although it looks to be a straight battle between him, Chris Brown and Jamie Cureton.

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The language barrier has been the source of some fun within the City camp, but Grant believes actions speak louder than words.

“In training he is understanding exactly what I want him to do now without needing to tell him as often,” Grant said. “Obviously the language barrier sometimes gives you a problem to do it as quick. His English is getting better every day, you can see in his football and his training he is assessing what is going on.

“I think intelligent people do that - he is assessing what he is doing when he has not got the ball and he's picking up areas to receive the ball.”

Strihavka could well have got on the scoresheet in the second half against Barnet had Cureton opted not to go for goal himself - a decision which infuriated the City manager.

“I think David has done enough - he gets in some great positions and that second half I felt for him a little bit, Grant said. “Jamie should have rolled the ball across to him and it's a goal. I am sure if he had been on in the first half he would have scored two or three because he likes that. Jamie's situation summed it up - he just has to roll it across. You could see his disappointment.

“When people talk about players and say he hasn't scored this, he hasn't done that, he could have had his goal and there is no doubt in my mind he should have had his goal.

“I see an improvement in him every day.”

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