Striker Sam Cosgrove has quite literally exploded onto the scene since the turn of the year with two all-action displays which have, in turn, earned him a new deal with the club and a man-of-the-match award for a committed display against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.
Speaking about the performances from the big centre forward today, manager Keith Curle said: “We always saw him as a development programme. He was brought in for us to improve him and to work with him, and he’ll admit himself that it’s taken him a while to adapt to what we needed him to do and the way we needed him to play.
“He has obvious attributes and we want him to exploit them. We want him to be effective in the final third and to become a building block for us to launch our attacking play from. To do that you need an element of aggression about you and an understanding of the job you have to do within the team.”
“We reached a point in the last few weeks where we could see that the penny had dropped,” he explained. “It was a case then of finding the best time to give him his opportunity. He’s been doing a lot of work with Colin West to hammer home some of the craft that’s needed to be successful as a striker, and that has helped him a lot.
“When you’re tall, as he is, you need to be a dominant centre forward and you need to be in the right place at the right time. He’s played well in his last two games and he is now direct competition for Richie Bennett.”
“He’s nowhere near the finished article, but that’s the same with Richie,” he continued. “They are two players who have come into the football club and taken big steps, one from under-23 football and one from non-league.
“They’ve taken big strides, and how far they can go will be dependent on how they’re able to absorb information, and how they can implement that within the team framework. The raw attributes are there so it’s up them both to take their opportunities when they come.
“The pleasing thing is that both of them want to play games and score goals. They’re working hard at their trade and it’s good for us to have these options.”