David McAllister, the former Sheffield United midfielder, last night outlined the qualities which have transformed Yeovil Town striker Paddy Madden from League One also-ran into the division’s most dangerous marksman.
McAllister, who joined Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed sum midway through last term, was speaking ahead of today’s play-off semi-final second leg between the two promotion hopefuls at Huish Park.
Despite enduring a difficult start to his career in England with Carlisle, Madden has scored 22 goals in only 37 appearances since joining Gary Johnson’s side, initially on loan, last year. McAllister, who worked alongside his fellow Dubliner at Shelbourne four seasons ago, told The Star: “You could see even back then that Paddy was going to go a long way. He joined us on loan from Bohemians and did really well.
“Back then, perhaps his biggest strength was his persistence. He worked so hard on his game and kept on doing the right things in matches even if he didn’t always get his rewards straight away.
“If Paddy thinks a run is going to cause a defence a problem then he’ll keep on making it. Over and over and over again. That’s why you can’t switch off against him for a minute.
“He’s obviously improved since then but I could always tell he was going to do well.
“You could see it in the way he went about his work.”
McAllister added: “I had a good chat with Paddy when Yeovil played us (Shrewsbury) last season and he’s really enjoying himself there.
“He said ‘do you know what, most of my goals have come from about six yards out’, so that tells you he knows how to position himself in the penalty area.
“Yeovil clearly give him good service and if Paddy gets the right ball then he’s more than capable of putting it in the back of the net.
“It just goes to show that, even if things don’t click for you at one club, it doesn’t mean that you are a bad player. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, that just happens.”
United enter this afternoon’s contest boasting a slender 1-0 lead following Callum McFadzean’s second-half strike during Friday’s first leg at Bramall Lane.
McAllister said: “I’ll be watching all the play-off matches and it goes without saying that I’ll be rooting for United. I want them to go through because I had such a great time there and I owe them a lot. I made some great friends there and United are always going to have a special place in my heart.”