Nigel Clough believes Sheffield United are addressing concerns about their vulnerability at set-pieces ahead of tomorrow’s visit to Scunthorpe, writes James Shield.
But Clough, the United manager, has still warned his players about the dangers of conceding “cheap free-kicks” as this season’s race for the Championship enters its finishing straight.
Pointing to Steven Davies’ arrival on loan from Blackpool, Clough told The Star: “Steven’s got a physical presence about him and that’s going to be useful in both boxes without a shadow of a doubt. Yes, he’s a centre-forward but he’s going to also be a help when we are defending those situations in front of our own goal.
“We know we’ve probably suffered from a lack of height at times in the past but, first and foremost, we judge players according to ability rather than how tall they are. Everyone has got to contribute although, undoubtedly, Steven should improve things in that regard.
“He’s a good player and he’s not the type to get bossed around easily.
“However, all it does it underline the importance of not conceding cheap free kicks in dangerous positions. That’s something we’ve got to be aware of because, usually, it’s just a free ball into the penalty area.
“Yes, there are times when you are going to give one away or when you have to given them away but we also want to show a little but more care in those situations if we can.”
Clough, whose side travel to Glanford Park fifth in the table, added: “Steven can be another focal point when we’re taking attacking free-kicks too.
“Like I say, we’re not the biggest squad and so that why, even if everyone is screaming for a ball to get whipped in, we’ve had to do things a little bit differently and drag it back. It’s stupid just to whack it in there if the opposition has got seven or eight lads over six foot tall.
“We’ll be positive and creative as always but there’s good option there now. That’s something we want to try and take advantage of.”