Uwe Rosler stressed he is judging 10-goal hotshot Devante Cole on more than just goals.
The forward attracted deadline-day interest from Championship club Sheffield United and fired in his 10th of the campaign in the FA Cup draw with Hereford on Saturday.
That goal came a month after his previous one in Town’s 2-1 comeback win at Chorley in the last round.
Cole’s last league goal came in the 2-2 draw with Rochdale back on October 14, though a striker who didn’t score a league goal last season until January has made a terrific turnaround in 2017.
As Town head to League One leaders Wigan on the back of one win in nine League One games, Rosler says it is important his strikers contribute to cutting the eight-point gap between his 11th-placed side and the play-off zone.
Rosler said: “I’m judging Devante not only on his goals. I did not judge him last year when he had not scored so many.
“I highlighted his big impact without the ball last year. This year he has scored more goals.
“For me it is very important that our strikers contribute in winning games and at the moment we are not winning enough games, so there is room for everybody to improve.”
Town did get back to winning ways this week as they comfortably beat League Two Chesterfield 2-0 to secure a spot in today’s Checkatrade Trophy draw.
That team included only three of those who started Saturday’s 1-1 draw with non-league Hereford.
For that FA Cup tie, Rosler reverted to the 3-4-3 wing-back formation he had started the season with but he went back to 3-5-2 on Tuesday night.
The switch to 3-4-3 was made possible by the return from injury of Lewie Coyle, a move that allowed Wes Burns to move back up from right wing-back to join the forward pack.
However, Burns was pushed back into a defensive role when Amari’i Bell limped off with a dead leg.
Striker Conor McAleny was back running this week but remains doubtful for tomorrow’s visit to Wigan as do Bell and midfielder Bobby Grant.
And Rosler says his target is still the same – to reach 10 League One wins earlier than last season, when the 10th win was collected on New Year’s Eve against Oldham.
“It is still my target, definitely,” said Rosler, whose side have seven wins to their name with five league matches remaining this year.