SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson has claimed Kevin McDonald is only a step away from becoming the complete midfielder.
Wilson delivered his assessment ahead of tomorrow’s visit to League One rivals Brentford; a match he predicted will be “the toughest test” of the visitors’ season so far.
Revealing that coaching staff have challenged McDonald to scribble his name on the scoresheet at Griffin Park, Wilson told The Star: “The only thing that is missing from Kevin’s game is goals. That’s what he’s got to do now and we know that he’s capable of doing it.
“Kevin can handle and manipulate a football as well as anyone in the Premier League. But he’s got the ability to score too.”
After a slow start to the season, McDonald, aged 24, has rediscovered the form which prompted some observers to describe him as the division’s most talented players last term.
However, despite possessing a wonderful repertoire of passes, McDonald has scored only three goals in 59 appearances since joining United 15 months ago.
“I’m always on at Kevin and I try everything from encouraging him to rollocking him,” Wilson added.
“I think he takes it all with a pinch of salt.
“Seriously, though, what people have got to remember is that he’s still a young lad.
“It’s probably a confidence thing and when he gets one the floodgates will open.
“He’s very unselfish and he’s always looking to put a team mate through with a pass so we’ve told him just imagine that he’s passing at the goal.
“Joking aside, the frustrating thing is that he’s got one hell of a shot on him in both feet.”
United, who remained second in the table despite being held to a draw by Crewe Alexandra in midweek, encounter the competition’s seventh placed team tomorrow.
Uwe Rosler’s side are unbeaten in seven outings and, having finished ninth last season, have recruited the likes of Everton’s Jake Bidwell and Fulham’s Marcello Trotta to enhance their prospects of a top six finish this time around.
Wilson, who could be without defenders Tony McMahon and Matt Hill, coupled with striker Dave Kitson tomorrow, said: “At the beginning (of the season) I thought Brentford were dark horses and a strong outside bet for promotion.
“I’ve seen nothing since then to change my mind, quite the opposite in fact, because Uwe has done a terrific job down there.
“I think this is going to be our sternest test because they’re on a good run and they’ll be full of confidence but we’ve got character too.”