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Birmingham coach McDermott: West Ham's Morrison loveable little rogue

Birmingham City coach Terry McDermott is full of praise for West Ham United whizkid Ravel Morrison.

McDermott was close to Morrison during his time on-loan at St Andrew's last season.

He told the Sunday Express: "All the staff at Birmingham talked to Ravel and all credit to them. But I perhaps talked to him a little bit more because I identified with myself at his age. You know, a bit daft and doing daft things.

"Obviously we all knew about his troubles at Manchester United but it did not take me long to realise what a genuine guy he is. In my eyes he is a loveable little rogue, a genuine guy with absolutely no malice at all in him and I soon got to really like him. I developed a soft spot for him.

"I told him that he could do things on the football field that I had hardly seen throughout my entire career, even in my days at Liverpool. I explained to him what he was in danger of missing out on.

"I said that over the years I had seen players fall by the wayside. Hopefully, we turned him in the right direction and now he is doing all he wants to do - which is play football.

"He is a rough diamond who is responding to a little bit of shining.

"The only problem I had was when he won three man-of-the-match awards. He is such a shy lad he would not go and get the award unless I went with him. That meant going across to the other side of the ground at Birmingham and sometimes it was the last thing I wanted to do, especially if we had had a bad result.

"Now he is getting all this adulation and fantastic media coverage and, unlike some players in the past, he will not let it go to his head. Certainly he is in good hands now with Big Sam and his staff at West Ham."

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