Derby County winger Michael Jacobs on learning curve as he finds feet in Championship
MICHAEL Jacobs has all the attributes to be a hit in the Championship but the young winger is still finding his feet at this level, says manager Nigel Clough.
Jacobs has featured in all but four of 41 games this season following his move from League Two club Northampton Town in the summer.
Fifteen of his appearances have been starts but the 21-year-old has started only twice in the past two and a half months.
Clough believes there is more to come from Jacobs and this season was always going to form part of the player's learning curve.
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Some fans have wanted to see Jacobs make more starts but Clough says the youngster's inconsistency has been an issue, especially in away games.
Derby have the second worst away record in the division and Jacobs has found it difficult to make an impact, either when starting or coming off the bench, in away games.
"This season has been a big, big step up for Michael and we have seen glimpses of what he can do, and more than glimpses at times," said Clough, who watched Jacobs play for Derby's Under-21 side in the victory at Barnsley on Monday.
"We think Michael has done well in home games, less so away from home," added Clough, "but he is a young player and it is his first time at this level.
"It is a different game away from home, especially for a wide player. You have to be a little bit more disciplined and he has not been used to that.
"The home team has a bit more of the play and takes the initiative more.
"When we are at home, we try and do that all the time. We try and put teams on the back foot and a player like Michael comes into his own when we are going at teams.
"You do not always get that opportunity away from home.
"But Michael has got all the attributes. He just needs to get some experience in the Championship and he will be better for this season."