Birmingham City manager Lee Clark has revealed his excitement at signing rising star Rob Hall on loan from West Ham United.
The 19-year-old has joined the Blues on loan and Clark hopes he can have as big an impact on the field as he had on his pre-match team talk following a bizzare incident on Tuesday. Despite a 3-2 defeat to Derby County last Saturday, during which Hall enjoyed a 30-minute cameo, Clark was very pleased with the forward after his debut.
"He came on and was excellent. He played with purpose, put in good crosses, had attempts at goal, he drove at defenders committing them and won the penalty," Clark told the Birmingham Mail. "He needs to learn other parts of the game because he's only a baby. But I thought he was really good and I'm looking forward to working with him."
Former Huddersfield Town boss Clark also revealed that he almost opted to start the forward despite him only joining the club on Thursday.
"I really enjoyed his performance, I saw it on Friday for a short spell in training and he forced me into having a think whether I should start with him. The only reason I didn't was because he'd spent so little time with us but I thought at the time it was a coup that we got him because I knew how good he was."
Hall has been in fine goalscoring form for Ian Hendon's Development Squad and he has instantly replicated his form on the Blues' training pitches, with Clark continuing to praise the impression he has made.
"I thought he made a huge impact for us. He's got great pace, he was very positive and direct. I thought he crossed some great balls. He possesses a great left foot and he likes to pull the trigger, he was fantastic, excellent and he really excited me."
The Aylesbury-born youngster had been in line to make his first start for the club against Blackpool on Tuesday night but missed out after falling ill before kick-off.
"In the afternoon when we were in the hotel talking about the game, watching the footage and talking through the tactics, Robert became ill. We had to stop the meeting halfway through. We sent him to bed, tried to get a bit of food into him, but that didn't work, it didn't stay down."
Clark described the incident as 'unbelievable' and 'one for the book' and admitted the forward was a major doubt ahead of Friday's match against Middlesbrough.
"Unfortunately it wasn't to be and he's a big doubt for Friday now as the doctor thinks it's not going to be a 24-hour thing and it's took a lot out of him as well. It's one for the book. I have had everything in team meetings: players who haven't been picked disappointed and sulking, this is the first time someone has vomited during the team talk!"