ROB PAGE reckons Town’s defence can be solid for years to come.
The man who has helped Andy Ritchie’s side keep five clean sheets in his seven appearances so far is full of praise for both centre-back partner Nathan Clarke and David Mirfin, the man he has displaced.
“They’re both great talents,” said the former Watford, Sheffield United, Cardiff, Coventry and Wales star, who is building up to Saturday’s League I trip to Gillingham.
Clarke, 24, made his 220th appearance in Tuesday’s 1-0 home win over Millwall while 22-year-old Mirfin, who was on the bench, has played 170 games.
And Page added: “Experience like that is fantastic.
“There were older players at Coventry who haven’t played a quarter of that number of matches.
“And the great thing is that both of them are still learning and developing.
“I’ve been really impressed with the pair of them, and while Nathan has been a pleasure to play alongside, I see a great future for Mirf as well.
Page would go as far as to compare Mirfin with Phil Jagielka, the midfielder Everton paid Sheffield United £4m for last close-season.
“I was at Sheffield United when Jags came through the ranks there,” said Page.
“The similarity, both in athletic build and temperament, is amazing. I’ve told Mirf that he’s made out of the same mould, and I really mean that.
“Jags is a first-class player and I believe Mirf can reach that level as well.”
Clarke is contracted to Town until 2010 and Mirfin, who figured for the reserves in yesterday’s 1-0 defeat against Stoke in the Pontin’s Holidays League Central Division at the Galpharm, has a deal through to 2009.