Sheffield United utility player Matt Hill has predicted that in-form striker Chris Porter will emerge as an influential figure in the club’s battle for survival.
Since being reunited with Nigel Clough, who was his boss at Derby County, Porter has flourished, notching three goals in his last four Blades outings.
Although two of Porter’s strikes have come from the penalty spot, there are signs that the 29-year-old, who was loaned out to Chesterfield earlier this season, is finally starting to win over some of his doubters at Bramall Lane.
“Chris is a strong character and he works hard every game,” Hill told The Star. “He tries to get in the box and take his chances.
“You’ve got to give him credit. He never gives up and that’s what you want.
“You don’t want players who are going to shrink and hide whether you get stick or not. Chris is out there and performing so good on him.
“He’s worked really hard and he’s getting his rewards. That’s good to see because you need character here. That’s vitally important.”
With Harry Maguire serving a one-match ban, United manager Nigel Clough deployed Hill at centre-back in Tuesday’s hard-fought draw with Walsall. Craig Westcarr’s 47th minute header cancelled out Porter’s spot-kick as Clough’s men were forced to settled for a point. Hill said the team were “disappointed” not to record back-to-back clean sheets.
“I thought as a unit we were solid and I didn’t think we gave much away,” he said. “It was disappointing to give the goal away and come away with a draw.
“We are showing better signs than maybe what we were doing a few weeks ago.”
Hill missed out on the opportunity to face Bristol City, his first club, last weekend, with Clough choosing to select Aidy White in the left back position.
“I think as players, if you are not disappointed to play on a Saturday, then there is a problem,” he said. “I am one of those who wants to play week in week out. I desperately wanted to play.
“I played against Walsall and I tried my best as usual. Hopefully I have given the gaffer a problem.”
United travel to second-placed Leyton Orient on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run to three matches.
Hill said: “The pressure is on Orient because they are up near the top. They will want to keep their run going. It will be tough but I think we will rise to it.”