MILLWALL boss Neil Harris has compared Fred Oyedinma to Paul Ifill and Steve Reid – admitting the young forward can be “frustrating” at times.
Onyedinma showcased his talent in the 1-0 win over a Leeds United side that couldn’t handle him last weekend, with Steve Morison saying afterwards his team-mate is good enough for the Premier League.
But Morison added that Onyedinma “doesn’t do it often enough”, and Harris believes the flipside of the 20-year-old’s potential and the freedom he is given to express himself is that he will go through inconsistent spells.
That reminds of Harris of Ifill and Reid, who were part of the Millwall squad that won the old Second Division title in 2001.
With Lee Gregory suspended, Onyedinma should start just his second league game this season on Saturday against Preston and will have the opportunity to build on one of his best displays for the Lions last weekend.
“Fred has had to be patient because he was on fire in pre-season,” Harris said. “He’s had to wait behind Steve and Lee who though they haven’t been scoring goals have been playing really well and the team has been doing well.
“Fred took his chance at the weekend and that’s every bit as well as he has played in a Millwall shirt consistently over 90 minutes.
“He’s a young man with huge potential. We have to patient with him. He’s a pacey striker who plays in fits and bursts.
“Yes, of course, he is frustrating at times. I find that and so do the players. Fred finds it himself when he gives the ball away at times, but that’s the excitement of him.
“He’s that sort of player, a Paul Ifill or Steven Reid type. He’s quick and direct and he will go through spells scoring goals but also spells when he’s not at his best.
“They’re the times when we have to nurture and coach him and enable him to keep thriving in this environment.
“He’s got all the potential in the world. As we have seen in this division pace and power are key. I was really pleased with the partnership at the weekend.
“As for the long term, one of our strengths in the last two-and-a-half years is to be able to take one game at a time, one performance at a time and build in small steps.
“That’s key on the back of Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Tom Elliott won’t be recovered from a quad injury before the international break, which rules him out of fixtures against Preston, Reading and Barnsley.
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