MICHAEL Raynes believes his game is benefitting from training with Michael Duberry every day.
The pair are in competition for the second centre back slot alongside skipper Jake Wright.
Raynes will start tomorrow against Bristol Rovers, due to a hamstring injury Duberry picked up against Burton Albion last week.
With more than 250 games under his belt, the former Stockport County trainee is no rookie, but working with someone of Duberry’s calibre has been an eye opener.
He said: “It’s never a bad thing to have competition and I’m learning from Michael Duberry, who has played in a Champions League semi-final. “Day-in, day-out he’s saying little things which help. “I’m 25 and I’ve played in the Championship with Scunthorpe, but even then I’ve never been alongside someone like Michael Duberry to pick their brains and get little things. “I’ve never really had that in my career, I’ve always been the lead defender wherever I’ve played. “Maybe that’s hampered my development, so to come here and play with someone like Dubes is great.
“It’s in his nature to point stuff out to you. “He’s not one to shy away from it and if he sees something in training he’ll come up to me afterwards and point it out. “He’s played at the top level and even if I can improve my game five or ten per cent because of him it would be a massive boost for me.”
Although the former Chelsea and Leeds defender has an impressive CV, Raynes is not intimidated by the challenge.
He is looking to make the most of the chance to have a run in the side while Duberry’s injury is healing. “I wouldn’t say I’ve come here to be second choice behind him, I think if I’m doing well I’d expect to play and I think he’d be the same,” Raynes said.
“I played well in December before I got the illness and I think I got player of the month. “Then Dubes got his chance, I was a bit disappointed that run came to an end, but I’ve got an opportunity now and I want to keep hold of it and try to make it mine until the end of the season.”