Alan Biggs at Large: Sheffield United could need a target man to meet their goals

Marc McNulty
Marc McNulty
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Matty Done’s five goals in six games flies in the face of the season-long niggle about Sheffield United lacking a regular goal scorer. Marc McNulty has 12 goals from 38 appearances. Not bad. How regular do you need to be?

Sometimes the shortfall lies elsewhere and United’s failure to see out a scratchy 1-0 against Peterborough, collapsing to a rare 2-1 defeat, has left Nigel Clough pondering the fatigue factor after so many games but also how to escape the suffocation of a succession of tight matches.

Although the boss felt the erratic McNulty missed his chance to shine on Tuesday, United are now viewed as a team with goals, thereby subduing if not entirely silencing criticism of Clough’s general preference for a 4-5-1 system.

But will the pursuit of a target man come off the back burner as an option they will need? What all of this mostly suggests is that effectiveness is more to do with players than systems. United are by nature an attacking team. If this has not always been reflected in output, the players should be in place to make Clough’s strategy work.