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Burley urges Fletcher to learn trade at Hibs

"If, like Steven, you are one of the top young players in a country, other clubs will take an interest and people will speculate on your future," said Burley. "But he signed a new contract recently, and I think he's at the best place he can be at the moment.

"He is gaining experience, he is well looked after at a club who know how to handle exceptional young players and he is making progress. He doesn't need to rush anywhere. He'll become a better player by staying where he is for a while yet.

"We've seen too many very promising young players take the step up to bigger clubs too early and they've suffered from it. I remember Richard Wright when I was at Ipswich, a young goalkeeper with great promise. He had even gained two England caps, but he moved to Arsenal for £6 million and I thought at the time that it was too soon, that he would be better spending another couple of years at Ipswich. That was seven years ago and it didn't work out for him. He went to Everton and then was freed by them last summer and he's now at West Ham.

"Steven's time will come soon enough, as he has all the attributes needed to make a real impact in the game. He works very hard, he has a good touch, he is intelligent, his all-round game is good and he scores goals. He's playing regularly with his club at a high level and he obviously has great potential. He will play against Croatia, because he's earned it and because we want to see how he handles the step up to international football."

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Tribal Football Staff

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