Roeder urges Croft to become shooting star

PUBLISHED: 11:51 22 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 10 September 2010

Sheffield United’s Chris Morgan looks baffled after Lee Croft nets City’s late winner on Saturday. Picture: Adrian Judd

Sheffield United’s Chris Morgan looks baffled after Lee Croft nets City’s late winner on Saturday. Picture: Adrian Judd

David Cuffley

Lee Croft has been urged to swing his left boot more often after his first goal for 10 months gave City victory over Sheffield United. Croft, in the starting line-up for the first time in six matches, struck in stoppage time to sink the Blades with a curling left-foot shot.

Lee Croft has been urged to swing his left boot more often after his first goal for 10 months gave City victory over Sheffield United.

Croft, in the starting line-up for the first time in six matches, struck in stoppage time to sink the Blades with a curling left-foot shot.

“Finally Lee Croft decided to buy a lottery ticket and surprised himself because it was a winning one,” said manager Glenn Roeder.

“We have worked so hard with him at the training ground to get him to use his left foot. I haven't come across too many players that are so one-footed and yet with practice you can make players use their weaker foot.

“He had an opportunity in the first half when he cut inside really well, left them for dead with his pace and he decided to roll the ball across the face of the 18-yard box for somebody else to have a shot.

“Thankfully, he learned from that and he remembered that when you come inside in the penalty box like that, swing your left foot - you've got nothing to lose. I think he surprised himself as he did everyone else. I hope that's just the start because Lee Croft has the ability to score half a dozen goals a year at least for us.

“One bus comes along. Now let's hope there's three, four or five in terms of goals for Lee Croft.”

Croft has been on the bench for the previous five matches with Matty Pattison playing in the wide right role.

Said Roeder: “He's waited a long time for his opportunity. I thought in the first half he caused them quite a few problems down the right hand side with the help of Jon Otsemobor. There were a couple of fantastic attacks early on.

“We started so well, then we went quiet for the second half on the right side, but then they came alive for the last 15 minutes. Jon Otsemobor and Lee Croft managed to get on the ball and cause them real problems down that side and the winning goal's come from there.”

Croft, who scored only his fifth goal in 95 appearances for City, said: “I missed a chance at Coventry and the gaffer had a few words with me because that could have got us back in the game and I missed another one at MK Dons the game after and it kind of got to me a little bit.

“I got left out of the side probably on the back of that and it's just good to be back. I have been training well and forcing my way back in and hopefully I can stay there now. I feel good, I felt sharp from the off.

“The gaffer has been telling me once I cut in, don't be afraid just to have a go. As long as I am doing the right thing - if I miss a shot he won't be bothered with that. I just took a gamble and luckily it went in the far corner.

“It was a great moment. It was great for the team to get that first three points at home and I was delighted to get my first goal. It was worth waiting for and hopefully a few more will come now. Hopefully I have broken the duck, as the gaffer said to me, and I can start chipping in with a few more now.”

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