Go for goals
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date published: 10 March 2017
JOHN SHERIDAN . . . challenge to front man
AARON Amadi-Holloway has been challenged to prove he belongs at a higher level - by finding the net more regularly.
Athletic's target man (24) has been in good form generally and is striking up an understanding up front with Tope Obadeyi.
Boss John Sheridan felt Amadi-Holloway should have opened his Athletic account for the season with an early header at Walsall he failed to make contact with.
As Athletic try to get back to winning ways against Bury tomorrow, improving a goals record of only 12 netted on home soil this term, Sheridan suggested the former Wycombe and Fleetwood man could take a leaf out of Lee Hughes's book as he tries to end a barren run in 10 outings for the club.
"Aaron should have scored at Walsall, no danger," Sheridan recalled, of a third-minute chance when he didn't get on the end of an inviting cross from Ryan McLaughlin. "He leads the line well, but it's about him scoring goals.
"At Walsall, I was disappointed he didn't score. I told him, he will get judged a lot more not on running around but by scoring goals. He needs to score.
"I look at his tally over his career (eight in 97 league appearances) and it's not good enough. I know what his game is about, but he has to think about what else he needs to do.
"I always say, if you are scoring then people will notice you and you may well go on to play at a higher level.
"I can't fault his effort and he leads the line, but he has to add goals to his game and get into scoring areas.
"We created chances again on Saturday, but it's about putting them away.
"You don't always have to be the best player on the eye. Lee Hughes was never that, but he knew how to put the ball in the back of the net."
Sheridan wants his side to maintain their strong record under his charge against a Bury side themselves experiencing a revival under Lee Clark.
"I want to build on what we've done so far since I've been here," he added. "The points tally per game is good and we need to maintain it for the final 10 matches.
"I'll be happy if we end up where we are now at the end of the season. Fifth from bottom is all I want.
"I would like to finish 14th, but I know what my goal is."
Despite Sheridan netting four wins and two draws in February, Neil Harris of Millwall got the nod for the manager of the month award after taking one point more and not conceding a goal in an unbeaten February.
Sheridan is not concerned, though, preferring to highlight the nomination of his captain Peter Clarke for the player award which went to Billy Sharp of Sheffield United.
"As a manager, being nominated just means the team is doing well," Sheridan added. "In the past I've won the league and never got it once, and been relegated when I won it twice!
"It means you are doing something right though and I'm more pleased for Clarkey."
Cameron Dummigan is back in full training, but won't be ready for tomorrow's derby, but Ollie banks is back from injury while Brian Wilson and Lee Croft are suspended. Athletic are not now expecting Charles Dunne (pelvis) to feature in the team before the end of the season.
Athletic (probable, 4-4-2): Ripley; McLaughlin, Clarke, Gerrard, Hunt; Green, Banks, O'Neill, Taylor; Amadi-Holloway, Obadeyi.
Subs (from): Kettings, Law, Edmundson, Reckord, Flynn, Fane, Ngoo, Erwin, Osei.
Tomorrow's fixtures in Sky Bet League One -
AFC Wimbledon v Northampton Town; Bristol Rovers v Southend Utd; Charlton Ath v Walsall; Chesterfield v Shrewsbury Town; Coventry City v Bradford City; Fleetwood Town v Bolton Wanderers; Gillingham v Scunthorpe Utd; MK Dons v Rochdale; ATHLETIC v Bury; Peterborough Utd v Oxford Utd; Port Vale v Swindon Town.