Compose yourself, manager tells striker

Date published: 30 January 2014

JONSON Clarke-Harris has been advised by his manager to add more finesse to his strikes in order to break his goal drought.

The powerful forward last scored for Athletic in the 1-1 draw at Coventry on December 29 — his third in four matches. He hasn’t been able to repeat the trick since - and on his first start in four matches he failed to strike on target as Athletic slipped to a midweek defeat to Wolves.

“Jonson has got to make better decisions,” said boss Lee Johnson, who brought the strong former Peterborough and Bury man into the club during the summer.

“He is actually a very key part of our squad now. You stand or fall by your decision-making — and he blazes at everything, doesn’t he? Sometimes it’s better to have a bit of feel, to feel it in or bend it round to someone.

“It frustrated me, that, against Wolves. And I thought he did well. He is getting in a lot more through better movement and people picking him out. But I can’t be out there to whisper in his ear to calm down a bit in front of goal.”

Clarke-Harris will hope to keep his place for Saturday’s game at Swindon, where Athletic seek a first away-day league win since Shrewsbury were seen off in the profitable month of November.

His chances may depend on Athletic’s hunt for a striker ahead of tomorrow’s transfer deadline.

“I’m hoping to get in another centre-half and we will have to see how Gensy (Kusunga) is,” said Johnson, referring to the centre-back’s tight hamstring which saw him come off early against Wolves.

There is no update yet on the future of James Tarkowski, though it is understood the hierarchy at the club still hope to strike a deal which will see him depart