Shea backed to shine in search of Stars and Stripes spot

Barnsley's Brek Shea.
Barnsley's Brek Shea.
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MANAGER Danny Wilson admits Barnsley have not seen anything like the best of Brek Shea yet, and the loan winger agrees.

The American international, who has been hampered recently by a bout of food poisoning, has flattered to deceive since his arrival from Stoke City at the start of January.

It has been a source of frustration for the 23-year-old, whose fine form with MLS side FC Dallas persuaded Stoke to fork out £2.5m to sign him in January 2013, but who has yet to find his feet in England.

With the World Cup finals on the horizon, the Texan is conscious of the need to impress Stars and Stripes coach Jurgen Klinsmann through his form with the Reds after falling down the pecking order in the Potteries.

Despite his low-key first month-and-a-half at Oakwell, Wilson feels Shea can fulfil his potential provided he finds some consistency.

Shea’s loan ends on April 3, and Wilson said: “We’ve not seen anywhere near the best of Brek. He’s got a lot more to offer.

“The problem the other week was food posioning, which knocked him for six. But even so, prior to that we didn’t see the best of him.

“We have seen flashes of it in terms of what he is capable of doing. But we need more consistency from him, that’s a definite.

“With Brek, he has high aspirations of playing in the World Cup with America and, to do that, he’s got to be consistent with us.

“If he does that, I think he will be a certain traveller to Brazil.

“But first and foremost, he has got to do the business with us and, at this moment in time, he’s not firing on all cylinders like we know he can do.

“There are a lot of games in front of him yet and time to progress. We’ve had numerous conversations and he’s desperate to do well for us.

“When he gets over these little niggles and viruses he’s had, then let’s hope we can see the true Brek.

“He is frustrated with himself (at the minute), absolutely.”

Wilson will leave it late to check on the fitness of 11-goal top-scorer Chris O’Grady, Jack Hunt and Paddy McCourt ahead of tomorrow’s critical clash with fourth-bottom Millwall.

Marcus Pedersen is still short of match practice, despite having trained a few days this week.

Jacob Mellis returns to the squad after completing a three-match ban ahead of the meeting with the Lions.

The result and not the performance will be the be-all and end-all as far as Wilson is concerned.

He said: “We’ve got to make sure we get a win. A scrappy little win might give us the impetus we need.

“If they come and outplay us and we beat them 1-0, then I will be quite happy.”