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Cheltenham manager backs on loan starlet to play at the highest level

Speaking to Birmingham Live, Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff spoke highly of on loan West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Josh Griffiths.

Griffiths joined Cheltenham Town on a season-long loan from Premier League side West Brom back in September. He has gone on to make 41 appearances for the Robins so far and is impressing at his new club.

His form has even seen him called up to the England U21 in recent weeks. The Young Lions have struggled in their opening two fixtures, losing 1-0 to Switzerland on Thursday before succumbing to a second defeat to Portugal on Sunday, with Aidy Boothroyd’s side on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline.

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff spoke highly of the 19-year-old, claiming he has a mature head on his shoulders.

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“I think that’s his strongest attribute, is his mentality,” he said.

“He’s made a few mistakes along the way and he’s dealt with them really well as well.

“He’s got a cool temperament, he doesn’t seem to get flustered and I’m sure he’ll take it all in his stride.”

He went on to say that he has been impressed with his debut season in professional football and that he could go on to play at the very highest of levels.

“We’ve given him an oppportunity and he’s taken it,” said Duff.

“As a first year pro, to play in such a pivotal position and to get those sorts of numbers, is a credit to him. If we wasn’t, we wouldn’t pick him.

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“He’s a West Brom player but we’re very proud of it, the fact that he’s had the recognition playing for us. We’d like to think that one day he could go and play in the Premier League for West Brom.”

Griffiths is likely to keep his place in Cheltenham’s next game. They take on Tranmere Rovers on Good Friday before taking the trip to bottom side Grimsby Town on Easter Monday. Duff’s side are currently in second position in the League Two table. They are two points of Cambridge United in first but do have a game-in-hand on their fellow automatic promotion chasers.

If he was to return to West Brom in the summer he would be in direct competition with Sam Johnstone, David Button and Andy Lonergan. Griffiths could seek out another loan move next season and Cheltenham will likely look to explore that possibility.

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