Mat Bailey’s conversion from striker to centre back won’t be seen till early 2008 – at the earliest – Dario says.
After struggling to make it as a striker throughout his career Bailey was offered a new contract with one condition – he became a centre back. Dario believes the form Biddulph man will make it in time but at the moment is some way off the first team after the signings of Chris McCready and Danny O’Donnell.
Dario told the official site, CreweAlex.net: ‘He is not going to be the fifth defender at the moment and that is why we were keen to bring two more in and we still have Paul Bignot here, who can play there also.
‘Myself and Neil [Baker] will be working hard with Mat and improve on his defending. He is quick for a bid lad and has decent footwork. It will be our aim to try and get him ready for the first-team and see if he is capable of being closer to the first-team around the New Year.’
It was a confidence knock that convinced Dario that maybe Bailey was never going to make it as a forward and hopes that Mat will enjoy being involved more at the back will help him progress as a footballer.
‘We were not particularly happy with the progress Mat was making as a striker. I’m sure deep down he was feeling the same, because he didn’t seem to be enjoying it and his confidence took a knock.
‘We played him at centre-half for the reserves against a good Derby County team and he seems to enjoy himself and be involved in the game. He can certainly head the ball out of the box that’s for sure. I think he headed everything going into our box. His head seemed to attract the ball. That is always a great sign.’
What do you think? Will Mat Bailey make it as a centre back or are we heading for another Higdon situation?
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