Carl McHugh today welcomed the news that Adam Reach has signed with City for another month.
And he believes the in-form left winger has got what it takes to crack the higher divisions.
Reach has made an outstanding impression in his five appearances since arriving on loan from Middlesbrough to fill the void from Kyel Reid’s season-ending injury.
His stay was due to run out after this afternoon’s game against MK Dons but the extension means he will be available up to and including the away game at Shrewsbury on Saturday, March 22 – the club where he spent the first half of the season.
That will be music to the ears of the fans, who have quickly adopted Reach as their new crowd favourite, and his Valley Parade team-mates.
Reach ran Port Vale ragged in midweek as City finally earned a first win in 2014 – a game watched from the stand by Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka.
Left back McHugh admitted he felt some sympathy for Adam Yates, the Vale defender with the task of keeping tabs on the rampant wideman.
McHugh said: “I was watching it and thinking ‘rather him than me’. To be honest I felt sorry for their full back because Reachy was dominating him – and I know what that feels like.
“He doesn’t just go down the line, he comes inside as well. That’s horrible for a full back when you know the winger you’re up against can go both ways like that.
“I thought he was unbelievable on Tuesday night and he made my life so much easier.”
Reach hit the post against Vale after smashing the bar in the recent defeat at Wolves. But McHugh expects him to get off the mark before long.
“He’s been brilliant since he came here. He’s definitely got goals and assists in him.
“Reachy works very hard for the team as well, which is great for a full back.
“He works back the other way, which you don’t see that often with wide players nowadays. He’ll go forward but also come back to help you defend.
“That’s why he’s got a really good chance of playing at a high level. He’s athletic as well, he can get up and down the pitch and he’s able to do both sides of the game for us.”
Middlesbrough, who host Leeds at lunchtime, have not won in five matches – or even scored a goal in that time.
Karanka is ready to recall young striker Luke Williams from Hartlepool to boost their flagging attacking resources. But he is happy for Reach to continue gaining first-team experience with the strong Boro connection at City.