The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Char­lie Bennett

TOM Lock­yer is con­vinced he has come back from in­ter­na­tional duty a bet­ter player af­ter rub­bing shoul­ders with Wales’ finest this month.

The Bris­tol Rovers skip­per was called up for the se­cond time by Chris Cole­man for World Cup qual­i­fiers against Moldova and Aus­tria, and his ab­sence was keenly felt as Rovers went down 3-1 to Brad­ford City.

But 22-year-old de­fender Lock­yer in­sists it will ben­e­fit the club in the long run and help him get even bet­ter af­ter pick­ing up tips from the likes of West Ham de­fender James Collins and Ever­ton’s Ash­ley Wil­liams as Wales inched towards a World Cup play­off place with back-to-back vic­to­ries.

“It leaves us in a good po­si­tion in the group, a bet­ter po­si­tion any­way, but my full fo­cus is back on Rovers now,” he said.

“It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence be­ing in­volved in the two games and watch­ing and learn­ing from dif­fer­ent styles of coaches. I went away and, hope­fully, gave a good ac­count of my­self.

“James Collins was there, and some of the things he was say­ing in train­ing and do­ing some drills. I was just try­ing to lis­ten to ev­ery word the big dogs were say­ing to try and im­prove my­self.”

EX­PE­RI­ENCE: Tom Lock­yer

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