Sheffield United: Strikers are issued with an important reminder
Despite insisting team work remains the key to success in the Premier League this term, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has told his centre-forwards not to become too obsessed with helping their colleagues nullify the attacking threat posed by opposition teams.
Wilder, whose United side could record its third straight victory in the competition when it visits Brighton and Hove Albion tomorrow, issued the directive after suggesting David McGoldrick’s selfless streak could have contributed to his frustrations in front of goal.
One of Wilder’s most influential performers so far this term, the Republic of Ireland international remains without a strike in domestic competition since scoring a brace against Hull City eight months ago.
“Everyone mucks in together here and defending starts from the front,” Wilder said.
“That’s always been one of the things we’ve been big on here.
“But equally, even though there might be the odd time when they have to do it, I don’t want to see the lads up top coming to head the ball away from their own box in open play unless it’s absolutely necessary.
“Yes, there’s a balance to be struck.
“But that’s what the defenders, in normal situations, are there to do.”
Despite his instructions McGoldrick, together with Lys Mousset, Billy Sharp, Oli McBurnie and Callum Robinson, could find himself being forced to drop deep in support of United’s midfield when they face an Albion side intent on passing rivals into submission.
Not since beating Tottenham Hotspur on October 5 have Graham Potter’s men returned a possession percentage of less than 50; despite facing the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Leicester City during the intervening period.
“Didzy just wants to help out wherever he can,” Wilder said.
“That’s one of the things that makes him the player, that attitude, he is.
“He always puts the team above himself.”
United will be without John Fleck at the AMEX Stadium after the midfielder collected his fifth caution of the Premier League season during the win over Aston Villa.