GARY Rowett has called on winger Cleveland Taylor to improve his goals tally as Burton Albion prepare for a four-game festive programme that could prove crucial to their hopes of making the League Two play-offs.
Taylor returned to Albion’s starting line-up at Chesterfield on Saturday but was unable to end a goal drought stretching back to August.
The 29-year-old briefly topped the club’s chart with three goals in the first five games of the season — but has not found the net since.
Now Rowett is urging him to take a leaf out of the book of fellow wide player Jacques Maghoma, who already has a career-best seven goals to his credit after scoring in the 1-1 draw at the Proact Stadium.
The Brewers boss said: “You look at Jacques’ record and you have to say he is really starting to show good end product.
“I think Cleve is capable of doing that on the other side.”
Rowett was delighted Albion’s work on the training ground paid dividends for Maghoma at Chesterfield.
He said: “Jacques Maghoma’s goal at Chesterfield was a terrific finish.
“We talk to the wide players all the time about running in and trying to exploit the space behind the full-backs.
“That was the first time in the game that Jacques did that and by doing it he got his reward.
“It’s nice to show to players they can see the benefit when they take the little things we work on in the week into a hame.
“I thought Jacques did what we’ve been asking terrifically well.
“He trained fantastically well in the two or three games leading up to the game and just looked as though he had an extra little bit of edge about him.
“I think when he plays like that you really get to see what Jacques is capable of.
“I ‘ve said to him before that what you can’t do is play at half pace and play in front of teams all of the time.
“He’s got to exploit the opposition with his pace and his power because when he gets in front of goal, he’s shown this season that he’s got good quality.
“He’s now got seven goals already this season compared to the four he scored in the whole of last season.
“Cleveland showed that early in the season and I think it’s important that players like him come to the fore.
“I’ve said that in previous weeks and Cleve just needs to be more positive.
“I said to him half-time at Chesterfield that I wanted him to run at his full-back with pace every time he got the ball.
“If he got tackled every time, I didn’t care. What I didn’t want was him to approach his man tentatively.
“I think we saw what I’m looking for from (Chesterfield’s) Drew Talbot. He just runs at people and that’s what we need.”
STRIKER Matt Paterson is due to return to action today when Albion reserves take on Mansfield Town in a Central League fixture at St George’s Park, kick-off 2pm.
The former Southampton and Southend United frontman has been out of action for three weeks because of a groin strain.