Hird: “Ricky is a handful, but let’s not rely on 17-year-old just yet.”

Chesterfield FC v Fleetwood Town, Ricky German

Chesterfield FC v Fleetwood Town, Ricky German

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Ricky German might already be a handful for League One defenders, but Sam Hird says it wouldn’t be fair for Chesterfield to rely on the 17-year-old.

One of the more experienced Spireites despite only being 29 himself, Hird wants to see German handled with care by the club.

But having played against him in training, Hird admits the teenager striker presents a physical challenge.

“He’s a handful, for 17. What I would say is that he already knows his strengths,” said Hird.

“It took me until I was 21 or 22 to realise my strengths as a centre-back.”

The potential German has shown in his cameo first team appearances has been one of the main positives for Chesterfield in a disappointing run of results.

Speaking ahead of today’s visit of Scunthorpe however, Hird urged caution when it comes to expecations.

“When he’s given a chance he’s got to go and get goals, that’s what strikers are paid to do,” he said.

“But he’s still 17, you don’t want to put too much pressure on him, no matter how confident he is or how confident he comes across.

“We can’t be relying on 17-year-olds to set the world alight for us.

“He has to be nurtured properly which I’m sure the staff will do here and given a platform to learn from.”