IT was hardly a surprise when Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson indicated this week his desire to try and persuade Dave Kitson to stay on at the end of his short-term contract in January.
He had Richard Cresswell to offer him vast, front-line experience amidst the predominantly inexperienced striker additions made in the summer but Bridlington-born Cresswell, who is now 35, could hardly be expected to figure as a constant, week-in, week-out fixture doing the hard yards up front.
So, the additional experience was required and Wilson saw Kitson as fitting the bill nicely, someone who can lead the line.
He has done that and it has proved an invaluable addition and one that, in United’s unbeaten start, cannot be underestimated.
The additional benefit is to those youngsters around him with Nick Blackman, particularly, and John Cofie, both profiting from the 32-year-old’s nous.
Kitson’s availability, whether making runs into areas or holding it up to bring others into play, has been integral to United’s play. On Tuesday, he earned the penalty from which Blackman netted the winner against Walsall. It always looked a shrewd move by Wilson when Kitson came in and it is a fairly strong bet that he won’t want to be having to seek another fresh target come January.
United’s next match at Bramall Lane is on Monday against Kitson’s former club Portsmouth who he left in August.
The South Coast club, £61million in debt and in administration since February, have been embroiled in a takeover bid. This week Pompey Supporters Trust were announced by the administrator PFK as the preferred bidder ahead of former chairman Balram Chanrai.
United’s win at Preston last Saturday was a fifth successive away win in all competitions, something not achieved since season 1983/84.
When they take themselves off to Danny Wilson’s old club Swindon Town on November 6, they would be going for half-a-dozen on the trot away from home which was last achieved in 1979, a sequence which included a win at Dundee in the Anglo-Scottish Cup.
The current away run includes one game in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. The 1983/4 run included two games in the Associate Members’ Cup which, after a variety of sponsors and name changes across the years is now the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.