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Gary Rowett thrilled by Demarai Gray treble

15 December 2014

Birmingham boss Gary Rowett was delighted Demarai Gray as the youngster's hat-trick helped them to a 6-1 demolition of Reading at St Andrew's.

The exciting prospect was ribbed about his lack of goals in the week, having only scored once since breaking through to the first team despite a number of impressive performances.

Rowett admitted Gray looked "disgusted" with the statistic - and did something about it in style against the Royals in the Sky Bet Championship tussle.

Paul Caddis opened the scoring before Gray's clinical first-half hat-trick, while goals from Andrew Shinnie and David Cotterill completed the rout.

"His finishing was so clinical," Rowett said of the 18-year-old.

"We toyed with him this week about how many goals he's actually scored. He said 'one', and you could see on his face a look of disgust with himself.

"So I'm really pleased for him, he's a young player and we'll keep his feet on the ground and make sure he puts a shift in as well as showing his quality."

Rowett accepts such performances will arouse more interest from other clubs in January but believes it is a price worth paying at the moment.

"That's our job, to try to get players playing for this club who have come through the system who, ideally, other teams want in their side," Rowett said.

"We've benefited from that today. The pleasing thing about Dimi today was not only his play on the ball but also off it. He was very, very good."

Caddis blasted home from a clever fourth-minute free-kick before Gray broke to make it 2-0 against the run of play.

Reading pulled one back in the 19th minute through Glenn Murray only for the excellent Gray to restore the two-goal lead with another well-taken solo effort.

Reading at that point were actually arguably the better team, yet Gray completed his hat-trick before half-time, again on the break.

Thirty seconds into the second half, Shinnie made it 5-1 with a superb run into the box and finish, before David Cotterill's free-kick ghosted into the far corner of Adam Federici's net to compound the visitors' misery.

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