Guy Branston column: ‘On his day Jonson Clarke-Harris is a real handful, when it’s not his day he might as well sit in the car park.’

It’s good to see Jonson Clarke-Harris making his way back after his injury but he is approaching a crossroads in his career.

He is only young and has got a bright future ahead of him.

Ethically it would be tough not to offer him a deal in the summer and give him the chance to come back. If the kid is a talent, which he is, and the deal is right for the football club financially then I would be offering him a new contract.

But it wouldn’t be a deal for a main striker, it would be on reduced terms but giving him the opportunity to get back to the figure he is on now.

He has got to prove to the football club that he is still the player they signed.

 

If was was going to offer him a contract, I wouldn’t even bother putting him in the team this year. What is the point of putting him back in this year, he’s been out all season and having him in the team isn’t going to make or break our season.

He probably needs five or six games in the reserves, a similar amount in pre-season to even warrant getting near a League One side never mind a Championship side.

You want the kid to get back to full fitness and for the long-term sake of the club’s asset you want to protect that lad and work with him all summer.

Get him working all summer after his holiday and get him back to his best and say to him, ‘Here’s your opportunity to showcase yourself, if you don’t want it go and find yourself another club’.

League One will be his platform to push on. If you are scoring goals in League One you are going to go up the leagues, maybe the Premier League never mind the Championship. If his fitness levels are anything like it he is a young striker who will score goals at that level and we all want one of those. But he has to want it.

He is big, strong and quick. On his day he is a real handful, when it’s not his day he might as well sit in the car park.

He needs to look at himself and say, ‘I am becoming a man now, how do I conduct myself properly on and off the pitch’, and look to the guys who have a hard-work ethic around the club.

 

He is a player that has not yet fulfilled his potential in my eyes. It could be down to a number of things, his lifestyle, his attitude, his mentality as in how he thinks of himself.

A lad like him as really got to make sure he is in the right frame of mind when he gets back. I really hope an individual of that capability will have that about him.

If you are the right sort of character to kick on then you will do it, if you are not then you will fall back down the wayside quickly. If he doesn’t wake up and smell the coffee he is going to end up down the leagues very quickly.

We can only hope he does the right thing.

It looks like we will be finally put out of our misery this weekend, with relegation confirmed.

It’s been stinking hasn’t it? It’s been a hard, horrible season and I think the fans will put their feet up and relax now. We can all start to look to next season and draw a line under this one.

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