Confidence and self-belief have been the catalysts for Chris Porter’s improved form, Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has revealed.
Porter, who scored his ninth of season during Tuesday evening’s victory over Peterborough, has been a driving force behind the League One club’s march into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup where they host Charlton Athletic this weekend.
The former Derby County centre-forward seemed destined to leave Bramall Lane earlier this term after being allowed to join Chesterfield on loan but, having been summoned back to South Yorkshire following Clough’s appointment in October, now averages a goal every 2.5 games.
Clough, who worked with Porter at the iPro Stadium, said: “Chris thinks he’s going to score now and that’s a big difference. Everytime he goes out onto the pitch he fancies himself to put the ball into the back of the net.
“He’s full of confidence at the moment and that helps. He’s working hard and reaping his rewards for that.”
With John Brayford (calf), Harry Maguire (knee) and Jamie Murphy (groin) all battling to face Chris Powell’s side, Porter’s presence in a squad which has now won its last eight games could assume even greater importance.
The 30-year-old has scored four times during United’s march into the last eight of the competition, including a brace against Nottingham Forest in the previous round.
“John has strained his calf,” Clough said. “He’s a quick healer and he’ll try everything to play.”
“Basically, we’ll rest, get all the media stuff out of the way and then start preparing properly for Charlton,” Clough added. “But we can go into the match in buoyant mood.
“It’s great not to go into it looking over our shoulder (in the league). We’re not quite safe but we’re getting there.”