Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, challenged Chris Porter to shed his ‘super sub’ tag after watching him score the winning goal at Port Vale last night.
Porter claimed his 10th of the campaign as United staged a dramatic comeback against Micky Adams’ side after Louis Dodds had fired the hosts in front.
Jamie Murphy dragged United level during the closing stages before Porter, who had earlier replaced Jose Baxter in attack, pounced with only seconds of normal time remaining.
And Clough said: “Chris has to start games the same way he does when he comes on. I’m sure he doesn’t want people to view him as a ‘super sub’ and we don’t want him to be viewed like that either.
“But he is remarkably effective in that role as he’s shown out there. Chris has been disappointed with how he performed when he made his last start (on Monday) at Tranmere but he’s shown what he’s capable of right at the end.”
“We still need to strengthen in that area,” Clough added. “We’ve made no secret about that but Chris knows what is required to get a start too.”
United, who remain eighth in the table but move to within three points of seventh-placed Swindon Town, play their penultimate match of the season at Oldham Athletic on Tuesday.
“Port Vale work unbelievably hard,” Clough said. “So we knew that we’d have to dig in.
“They’re a good team and we knew this was going to be far from easy. They are the sort of opponents who you’ve got to wear down.
“You’ve got to keep passing the ball and keep believing that a chance will come. That’s what happened out there.
“What pleased me was that neither of our goals came from just lumping the ball into their area even though it was late on. They were both really well-crafted and demonstrated that, if you are clever in the right areas, then it can be very difficult to cope with and almost impossible to stop.”
Meanwhile, Clough confirmed Neill Collins is a doubt for the trip to Boundary Park after twisting his ankle at Vale Park.