Burton Albion manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes Hayden Carter is more than capable of competing in the Championship after reflecting on his ‘brilliant’ loan spell with the club, according to the Burton Mail.
Carter joined the Brewers on loan in January from parent side Blackburn Rovers and was the first acquisition after Hasselbaink’s return to the Staffordshire club.
Burton were rooted to the bottom of the League One table and eight points adrift of safety when Carter arrived. Advance four months on and Hasselbaink’s outfit head into their final fixture against Oxford United in 16th, an astonishing 13 points above Rochdale who have now been confirmed as the final team to be relegated from League One.
The on loan Rovers man has played an integral part in the Brewers climb to safety and went into a defence that had consistently leaked goals to one that has become more solid and hard to break down.
It’s been a vital learning experience for the 21-year-old, who has racked up 23 appearances for the Brewers while on loan so far and in that time has managed four goals along the way.
It seems this loan could have brought significant improve and confidence to Carter’s game and it is now expected that Rovers manager Tony Mowbray will assess in pre-season before making a decision about what happens to Carter next season.
However, whatever happens Hasselbaink can’t think highly enough of Carter. Hasselbaink told Burton Mail:
“He came in with no League experience whatsoever and he made that place his own. Since he came in there has never been a doubt in our minds to take him out.
“Only in one or two matches has he had a problem with his opponent. The majority of the time he has really bossed the strikers around. He has a bright future. Do I think he can play in the Championship week in, week out? Yes, eventually.
“There is still stuff he can improve but that is just experience, having the time to develop. He has been brilliant, brilliant, brilliant for us.”
It seems that Hasselbaink would love to have Carter back next season, but even if that isn’t possible, he has no regrets over bringing the Rovers ace in to help the club’s cause.