Vlad's progress catching boss' eye
- Sat 12 Sep 2009, 9:54AM
- Posted byTim Oscroft
Mark Hughes is full of praise for the eye-catching advances made by City's talented Slovakian winger Vladimir Weiss.
The 18-year-old's scintillating performance for his country against Northern Ireland on Wednesday, where a typically dazzling run to the by-line set up the opening goal, has won rave reviews.
Vladimir's sole first team appearance for City so far was a cameo performance for the last 20 minutes of the final game of last season, but he has regularly been on the bench for the first four games of 2009/10.
A starring role in the FA Youth Cup-winning side of 2008 led to predictions that he would break into the first team straight away, but Hughes says that the youngster has made giant strides since moving up to the senior squad.
He declared, "We have high hopes for Vladi. He knows he is still very early in his development, when he came out of the Academy last year I think it was all a little bit too much for him. He found the step up difficult to negotiate initially.
"But, we knew we had a talented boy on our hands. What he needed to understand were the expectations and the responsibility that comes with being a professional footballer, in terms of what is expected of him on the field.
"At times he was finding it difficult to take on board what he needed to do with regard to his positional play and his responsibilities. However he has worked exceptionally hard and deserved his chance at the end of last season. I was really pleased to be able to get him on in that last game, and he really thrived in that little time he had against Bolton."
Vlad's father, Vladimir senior, is the Slovakian national coach and brought his son into the full squad earlier this year, to the approval of his club manager.
"We were always going to try to kick Vladi on this year," Hughes continued, "and get him really involved with the first team squad. He has benefitted from that, and got into the full Slovakian squad. I think his father was a bit reluctant, should people suggest there was a little bit of favouritism, but when I spoke to him I said, 'get him in there, he's ready'.
"He had a great game the other night, was instrumental in their victory and that augers well for the future. The more games he plays at a high level, the better he'll get."