SOUSA SINGS THE PRAISES OF JOSH MAJA

Bordeaux coach Paolo Sousa has praised the form of Nigeria international Josh Maja in recent weeks, and believes the 20-year-old can continue to improve.

Maja, who came into the starting 11 at Les Girondins following an injury to first-choice striker Jimmy Briand, has impressed for the French side, scoring four goals already in three games, including a brilliant hat-trick in the 6-0 thrashing of Nimes.

“Our strikers, they all have different characteristics, but Josh is especially a scorer,” Sousa said. “He is a player who has a very good finish and does not need a lot of space because he hits well, both feet, with sharp and strong qualities.”

Sousa however pinpointed some critical areas for improvement, particularly in the former Sunderland man’s application off the ball.

“But we try to help him to improve on the rest and especially the understanding of our game principles, so that it gives more depth to the team and he progresses tactically, especially when the team does not have the ball. But he has the right attitude to learn because he listens, he is open, accepts criticism and tries to do well.”

Maja will once again lead the line this weekend when Bordeaux travel to Stade Velodrome to take on second-place Olympique Marseille on Sunday.