SHEFFIELD United could encounter an unusual problem at Portsmouth this weekend.
Micky Adams’ side travel to Fratton Park on Saturday looking to arrest a poor run of form which has seen them drop to 23rd in the Championship table with just 12 games left to play.
By the manager’s own admission, defending set-pieces has been United’s “Achilles heel” in recent weeks with Theo Robinson the latest striker to profit from their poor organisation when Derby County visited Bramall Lane three days ago.
Having netted three times in his previous five outings, David Nugent is expected to pose a huge test of United’s morale and resilience when they make the long journey south.
But the Portsmouth centre-forward’s superstitious streak means those players detailed to mark him at free-kicks could struggle to identify their target.
“I’m not shaving at the moment,” said Nugent.
“I’m scoring goals so I’m not going to shave it off.
“Okay, I might have a little trim but I’m not going to shave properly for so long as I’m getting the goals.
“It goes a bit ginger but I’ve got my dad to blame for that because he’s ginger.”
Nugent took his tally for the season to 11 by scoring Portsmouth’s opener against Ipswich Town last Saturday.
Steve Cotterill, Adams’ counterpart in Hampshire, hopes talks aimed at extending his leading scorer’s contract reach a successful conclusion before it expires in June.
“I hope and pray we can keep him,” said Cotterill. “I desperately want to keep David at this football club.
“I think there have been a few conversations between (chief executive) David Lampitt and his agent. But, like I said to him the other day, we need to know what you want to do.
“Hopefully David is happy here; he’s happy playing and wants to stay.”
Portsmouth climbed to 13th when they triumphed 2-0 at Portman Road.