By Kevin Affleck
Head of Academy Richard Thomas believes there is even more to come from Sam Dalby, who nudged ahead on Monday in the race to be leading scorer for the Under-23s.
In the 2-2 draw against Ipswich Town, Dalby ran onto a lovely slide-rule pass from Tom Dele-Bashiru to lift one high into the roof of the net with his right foot to take his tally to 14 for the season, moving him one ahead of teammate Joseph Hungbo.
Together with a spot on the bench against Everton in the Carabao Cup and his first minutes for the club against Tranmere in the FA Cup, the 20-year-old striker has kicked on well since signing from Leeds United in the summer but Thomas plans to push the player he worked with at Leyton Orient even harder.
"I did, yes," said Thomas when asked if he expected Dalby to have racked up so many goals by mid-February.
“I don't think he's done enough yet to be in the first team, and there is plenty of stuff to be working on. He needs to watch more of Troy and add that side to his game. He needs to compete and occupy entire back fours on his own at times, which is what Troy [Deeney] does so well.
“Sam can occupy a centre-half or two, but he needs to do that more consistently. His build-up play is very tidy, his finishing is very clean – it was another great finish from him today – but he's just got to be slightly more aggressive and affect back fours.”