Sky is the limit for Ellis Harrison, says Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall
Steve Mildenhall says the sky is the limit for Ellis Harrison after the Bristol Rovers’ youngster capped a wonderful last few days by receiving his first international call-up.
Harrison, 19, scored a fantastic individual effort to open the scoring before plundering a late winner during Rovers’ 2-1 victory over Rochdale at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday and received a further boost today when being asked to join up with the Wales U21 squad ahead of Friday night’s game against Moldova in Llanelli.
The Newport-born wideman has emerged as one of Rovers’ brightest young prospects in recent months and goalkeeper Mildenhall said: “It’s great for Ellis, I’m so pleased for him.
“He broke into the team a couple of months ago and has done very well for us. He’s been in and out of the side, but any time he has come back in he has responded positively.
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“He has certainly been brilliant for us over last few games he has started and the first goal on Saturday was absolutely fantastic.
“We were all really pleased in the changing room after the game on Saturday, but I pulled Ellis aside and said to him that, if he continues to work hard, the sky is the limit for him.
“He is listening and learning every day and is always very responsive any time you pull him aside to have a little word with him about anything.
“He is instinctively an attacking player, but has shown a lot of desire to work hard on improving the defensive side of his game.
“To say he is a bubbly character is an understatement. I think he must wake up in the morning and drink about 20 cans of Red Bull!
“He’s like the energiser bunny, he just doesn’t stop. It is great to have a character like that around the changing room, even though he can be a bit annoying sometimes because he doesn’t shut up.
“It’s hard to get angry with him, though, because he is always very positive and his enthusiasm rubs off on others because he is so infectious.”
Harrison has made five starts and four substitute appearances, scoring three times, since being handed a full debut by manager John Ward at Fleetwood on January 12.
“Ellis is really coming on,” said assistant manager Shaun North
“Players just want to play football and can become a little bit disappointed when they are not in the team every week.
“The manager has done very well to manage him carefully over the last couple of months and I think Ellis has benefited form that.
“John has shown a lot of faith in Ellis by starting him in the last few games, but Ellis has repaid that with some excellent performances.”
Rovers, meanwhile, moved over the 50-point mark following Saturday’s victory, and North said: “I think you would be very disappointed if you got relegated after accumulating over 50 points.
“I don’t think there will be any change in our approach. The aim has always been to win as many games as possible and that still remains the ambition.
“We have a tough game away at Bradford on Saturday and we will be preparing in exactly the same way as we always do.
“Bradford are obviously a good side based on their exploits in the League Cup. For them to beat three Premier League teams on their way to the final recently was an extraordinary achievement.
“I think their league form dipped a little bit because of that, but on their day they are definitely one of the better sides in the division.”