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McSheffrey challenges Barlow to keep progressing

30 May 2022

The challenge for Aidan Barlow is to transfer his training ground performances into matchdays on a consistent basis after signing a new contract with Rovers.

Barlow has this week put pen to paper on a new one-year deal, with first team manager Gary McSheffrey confident the 22-year-old can thrive in the coming season if he can show his qualities regularly in competitive action.
 
“Last season he was quite versatile in the positions he played and tactically, he can take on a gameplan - his game intelligence is good,” McSheffrey said.
 
“In training, he ticks every box - his technical ability, his finishing, his fitness levels and his game understanding.
 
“It’s now about getting Aidy to transfer that to a matchday. If he can take his skills to a matchday on a consistent basis then we’ve got a really good player on our hands.
 
“We are very much still a club that wants to develop young players. You want your experienced players but you’re always going to have young prospects that are at the potential phase of their careers.
 
“Looking at the qualities Aidy brings to training every day, I’ve played with players like that throughout my career and he’s better than a lot of them.
 
“It’s just about transferring those skills onto a matchday on a consistent basis.”
 
Barlow demonstrated his versatility during his first season at the Eco-Power Stadium, playing across the midfield and front lines as well as at wing back.
 
McSheffrey believes the former Manchester United Academy graduate can develop into a potent attacking player, which will help him hold down a specific position within the Rovers side.
 
“If you play in attacking areas we need the end product - the goals, the assists, the creativity, the ball retention,” he said.
 
“He was unlucky at times last season not to get the end product but this year is about challenging himself to get those numbers.
 
“Can he be a starter for the team and can he keep his shirt? To do that he needs to be consistent - that’s the big thing for him and all the other attackers.
 
“Everyone wants to be loved and Aidy is one of those characters where if you encourage him, you’re going to get the best out of him.
 
“We believe offering him a new deal will give him confidence that he’s wanted.
 
“It’s down to him but I’m confident this could be a good year for him.”

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