The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Pippa Field

DE­SPITE star­ring with his own re­cent per­for­mances for Birm­ing­ham, Andy Shin­nie ad­mits he en­vies teenage winger De­marai Gray’s abil­ity to ter­rorise de­fences.

Gray scored his first se­nior hat-trick in City’s 6-1 win over Read­ing last week­end, while Shin­nie him­self earned rap­tur­ous ap­plause from St An­drews after his own goalscor­ing dis­play.

How­ever 18-year-old Gray earned the head­lines, as spec­u­la­tion now sur­rounds his fu­ture, with Liver­pool and Tot­ten­ham ru­moured to be in­ter­ested.

Birm­ing­ham are at­tempt­ing to ward off the Premier League duo by of­fer­ing him a two-year con­tract ex­ten­sion, hav­ing al­ready bat­ted away a bid from Crys­tal Palace in the sum­mer.

Scot­tish mid­fielder Shin­nie, 25, said: “He’s just got that pace that we all wish we had.

“I would hate to be play­ing against him in de­fence.

“A lot of play­ers can have pace but they don’t have the foot­ball mind to go with it, but Dimi has both.

“He’s got the foot­ball brain, he’s got pace and he’s got the feet and good fin­ish­ing as well, so he’s a great player and he’ll go right to the top.”

PACE: De­marai Gray

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