Sheffield United: David McGoldrick insists he will soon be back on the goal trail for his '˜perfect' team
Steve Fletcher called him a "revelation"; a player blessed with intelligence, technique and capable of unlockingÂ even the most well-drilled defence.
If David McGoldrick can learn to finish, or finish better to be exact, Sheffied United would have another multi-million pound talent on their hands.
Although his statistics this season are respectable enough, the former Ipswich Town and AFC Bournemouth centre-forward acknowledges they really should be better than a goal every four games. But he remains convinced,Â absolutely certain in fact, that his figures will make more pleasant reading come the end of the campaign.
"I could be up there in double figures," McGoldrick, who has scored five times this term, said. "I am having a littleÂ spell where they are not going in. But it is when the chances are not coming along, if you're not even getting anÂ opening, that you should worry."
McGoldrick's confidence stems not only from United's ability to create openings but also their manager's inter-personal skills. Chris Wilder, whose side travels to Reading on SaturdayÂ placed sixth in the Championship, refused toÂ mollycoddle Dean Henderson after he gifted Leeds their win at Bramall Lane last weekend.
But seven days earlier,Â when Marvin Johnson's error handed Rotherham a draw, the 51-year-old spoke about collective responsibility instead.Â
Both were players were equally culpable for costing United points. But those markedly different responses, in whatÂ were very similar circumstances, confirms he possesses an understanding of psychology and what makes everyÂ individual within his squad tick.
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"This is the perfect fit for me," McGoldrick continued. "The gaffer believes in people and makes you feel reallyÂ important. But you still have to do the basics right and play with your heart because, without that, you won't get inÂ the team."
McGoldrick, who forged an excellent partnership with Fletcher during his time in Dorset, has established an equallyÂ effective double act with captain Billy Sharp since joining United earlier this year. That is expectedÂ to see him make his 21st appearance for the visitors at the Madejski Stadium.
But, having failed toÂ find the back of the net in eight outings, Conor Washington's recent form means Wilder has something to ponderÂ before naming his starting eleven. Sharp, last on target in October, also knows the Northern Ireland striker's progressÂ could place him under threat.
Released by Ipswich Town at the end of last term, McGoldrick is not short of incentives on either the domestic or theÂ international stage following Mick McCarthy's appointment as Republic of Ireland manager. The two men enjoyed anÂ excellent relationship at Portman Road, with McCarthy providing McGoldrick with a glowing character referenceÂ before he joined United on trial.
"I know I should have scored more goals," he said. "I had a penalty saved against Sheffield Wednesday, one off theÂ line at Rotherham and then saw the 'keepers make brilliant saves against Brentford and Leeds. I could have had aÂ couple.
"But I came here believing in my ability, initially for a week's training, and the way we play suits me perfectly."