BEN Gladwin has been told to “keep it simple” as he continues to impress during his first season in the professional game.
The midfielder, signed from Southern League outfit Marlow in November, has forced his way into the Swindon Town starting line-up in recent weeks, and shone in the 1-0 victory over Preston North End last Saturday with a man-of-the-match performance.
Manager Mark Cooper has been delighted by Gladwin’s steady development over the last four months but he highlighted one area which the 21-year-old needs to work on - namely a penchant for the spectacular.
“The problem with Ben is he’s got so much ability that he thinks every time he gets the ball it can be a Glenn Hoddle 80-yard pass or he can beat three players and have a shot at goal or beat three players and get brought down for a penalty,” said Cooper.
“We’ve just got to show him that sometimes you just have to move the ball quickly, give it to your teammate and make space for him.
“He has got an awful lot of potential and we’re trying to show him the other parts of the game.
“The one thing with him is he wants to learn. He’s keen, he’s always asking questions and he’s desperate to be a professional footballer.”
Meanwhile, Cooper also praised the work ethic of his front pairing of Miles Storey and Michael Smith but stated both players need to hold the ball up better.
“He (Storey) has to continue working on his ball retention with his back to goal - him and Michael Smith. They have to get hold of the ball an awful lot better,” he said.
“We showed them clips from the other night, when we gave too many balls away at the front with backs to goal. Defenders were coming through and taking balls off them. On the plus side, they’re mobile, they work their socks off and they’re always a threat running the other way.”