Matt Done has admitted it was “music to my ears” when manager Chris Wilder confirmed he will be handed an attacking role next term.
The Sheffield United striker spent long periods of last season playing at wing-back as former manager Nigel Adkins searched in vain for a winning formula.
But Wilder, who took charge of the League One club earlier this summer, discontinued that experiment after promising to simplify its tactical template. A decision which, Done told The Star, should make better use of his talents.
“That is what I was brought to the club to do - play-up front - and that’s where I play my best football,” he said. “I did a job for the team last year but football is all about opinions.
“It was the previous manager’s opinion where to play me. So I am not going to say anything about that. But of course, I want to play up front here, that’s why I came here.
“Before I started playing left-back, my goal ratio was pretty good for the first six months and I scored nine in 15 starts or whatever it was. I want to play at the top of the pitch and the gaffer has said that straightaway. It is music to my ears and I am looking forward to getting underway.”
Done hit the target eight times in his first 17 appearances for United after being signed from Rochdale by Adkins’ predecessor Nigel Clough. But, after being tasked with stopping rather than scoring goals, he claimed only six in his next 35 as United limped towards an 11th placed finish.
The sight of Done supporting three centre-halves was symptomatic of the confused thinking which contributed towards United’s inconsistent results under Adkins. In the 51-year-old’s defence, he inherited a squad which had become bloated following months of upheaval behind the scenes.
Wilder, who will be assisted by Alan Knill, released 10 players and transfer listed another seven after leaving League Two champions Northampton Town.
“I have come across the gaffer before,” Done admitted. “I’ve played against his teams and played against Knilly’s teams before and when we met two weeks ago, the manager said: ‘I don’t want you playing left back, but at the top of the pitch.’
“Straightaway, that was what I wanted to hear and what we have been working in pre-season. You can automatically see the way he wants to play and it will suit my game. And the way I play will suit his philosophy.”