Front-line action is relished by Minstermen attacker Michael Coulson as he outlines his striking manoeuvres for the coming campaign to The Press’ York City reporter DAVE FLETT.
YORK City striker Michael Coulson is hungry to beat his best-ever tally of ten goals in a season.
The ex-England ‘C’ international reckons he would have already enjoyed a bigger haul had his career not been interrupted by three cruciate knee ligament injuries and he had spent longer spells playing through the middle of the pitch rather than on the flanks.
Coulson has largely been used up front in a 4-4-2 formation during pre-season - a position he ended the last campaign in.
He starts 2014/15, meanwhile, just one goal short of 50 in professional football and, on the potential for a prolific season, Coulson reasoned: “I scored ten from out wide at Grimsby during a full season and, last season, I got seven without playing about half of the campaign so, I feel, if everything comes together, I can produce a goalscoring season.
“I am hoping I can get off to a good start, though, rather than waiting until Christmas to get going like last year.”
Coulson created as many goals as he scored last term, finishing joint-top of the Minstermen’s assists table with Ryan Bowman on seven.
While every striker needs a selfish streak, the former Barnsley attacker insists he will never be blinkered in front of the net, saying: “I like to be involved in goals, as well as scoring them.
“It’s all about when to pass and when to shoot.
“Hopefully, I can make the right decisions at the right times and, if somebody is in a better position than me to score, I like to think I would always look to pass rather than shoot.”
One player Coulson could be teeing up chances for next season is summer signing Jake Hyde, who the former feels will add to City’s firepower following his arrival from Barnet.
“He looks like he has a lot of quality,” Coulson said.
“He’s pretty similar to me and Jarv because he likes to get on the ball and wants to play, whereas Wes is more powerful and direct.
“Jake’s also a natural scorer. You can see that straight away and, hopefully, he will get a lot of goals for us this season.”
Coulson reckons too that wide men Anthony Straker and Lindon Meikle will prove dangerous down the flanks he previously patrolled for City, pointing out: “They are very direct, which is exactly what the manager wants.
“He wants his wide players to get at their full-backs and put crosses in. They have bags of pace and, when they get the ball, their first thought is to go forward.
“Every striker wants to see the ball coming into the box and it looks like they have the ability to do that.”
Coulson went on to admit that he would welcome a long run in a central striking position, if possible, claiming: “I feel like I am more influential through the middle at the moment.
“I am still willing to play all over the place, but it can be hard if you are playing here, there and everywhere. It’s probably best to nail one place down but, every time I step out on to that pitch, I just need to show what I can do in whatever position I am playing in.”
With his first campaign at City having been blighted by injury, Coulson then spent a spell in the wilderness under Nigel Worthington during the early months of last season when he was even overlooked for bench duty for 14 consecutive matches.
He went on to play a key role in the charge to the play-offs but, understandably, wants to piece together a whole campaign now and, likewise, hopes the team can do the same after contrasting fortunes during different stages of the last two seasons.
On his hopes for the next nine months, Coulson said: “I want to play consistently well and have an entire season where nothing goes wrong.
“I haven’t had that for a couple of years and I feel I am more than capable of having a good season and getting double figures in terms of goals.
“As a team, I think we have to look at the play-offs again.
“We showed last season what we can do and that we are more than good enough and we have made some good signings.
“It’s important to start the season a bit better because we only finished ten points off automatic promotion last season and you just never know what can happen, but it’s a tough division and we can’t take anything for granted.”