Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, has ordered every member of his team to contribute in front of goal, writes James Shield.
Clough issued the directive after watching defender Harry Maguire, now the League One club’s leading scorer this term, net twice during last weekend’s victory over Crewe Alexandra.
“It doesn’t matter what position you play,” Clough said. “You should still be looking to help out in that regard if the opportunity is there.
“It’s not just all about centre-forwards. The more people you’ve got putting the ball in the back of the net the better.
“It doesn’t really matter were they play.”
Disappointing returns in front of goal was a major factor behind the dismissal of Clough’s predecessor David Weir 18 days ago.
But, having hit the target only seven times in their first 13 outings of the campaign, United average 1.75 per game in the four since.
Speaking after watching Maguire score his third and fourth goals of the season against Steve Davis’ side, Clough said: “Harry is clearly a danger at set-pieces and that’s something we want to continue.
“We’ve got a few players who fall into the same category and, when you have an advantage, you want to make the most of it.”
Clough, who was appointed 72 hours before Crewe’s visit, takes charge of his second United match at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.
They will travel to Greenhous Meadow unbeaten in three outings and ranked 20th in the table. Town are 18th following a narrow defeat at Brentford.
Graham Turner, Clough’s counterpart in Shropshire, last night admitted he could be tempted to offer Nicky Wroe a permanent contract when his loan from Preston North End expires.
“It’s very early days yet,” Turner said. “But the fact that he’s not been playing there and they have let him come out on loan suggests maybe he doesn’t have a future there.”