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Club News

Challenge For AJ and Max

9 January 2013

Davis shows faith in his two strikers to replace LDV's goals

Steve Davis has thrown the gauntlet down to his two strikers AJ Leitch-Smith and Max Clayton to replace the goals of Lauri Dalle Valle. The young Finn has returned to his parent club Fulham after enjoying a successful period of loan with Crewe. Although Davis says he is open to revisiting the opportunity to bring LDV back, he wants to give his own two a chance to stake their claim first.

Clayton, 18, started the season in exceptional form and he was voted the Football League’s outstanding young player of the month for August. After a period out with a groin strain, Clayton has been on the fringes of the first team for the last couple of months, starting only against Doncaster Rovers in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. His last league start came at Walsall back in October.

A week before that trip to the Bescot Stadium, AJ Leitch-Smith suffered a serious ankle injury at Portsmouth. He made his return in the final game of 2012 with a substitute appearance at Oldham.

Steve told the club’s official web-site: “I have had a chat with Max and AJ and thrown the gauntlet down to them. They know the score and the challenge is there for them. I’ve told them that their time has come and they have to go out there and show that they can score goals at this level on a consistent basis.

“With Lauri being here, they have had to wait patiently for their chance but I want to give them a chance and have a look at them. I think they have a bit more quality than Lauri but they can take something from his work ethic.

 He added: “There is a pressure on them to start scoring goals and they have to cope with that. Every footballer plays under pressure and the higher you go when there is more at stake, the more the pressure increases. They can cope with that and I have faith in them.”

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