TWELVE may be the number in vogue for Sheffield United following their head-turning unbeaten League One sequence, but it is another impressive dozen that is proving just as revealing.
Amid the welter of eye-catching statistics that the Blades are currently churning out, the fact that 12 different players have now found the net in the league so far in 2016-17 is worthy of particular prominence.
Midfield pivot John Fleck would certainly concur, with the Scot and fellow weekend scorer Leon Clarke, both adding to the Blades’ list of scorers with first league goals for the club in the 4-1 televised routing of Chesterfield.
It smacks of a team greater than the sum of their parts and Fleck is not one to disagree.
On breaking his duck, Fleck – at the hub of a comprehensive win which extended their undefeated league run to 12 games – said: “I have tried my hardest for the last few weeks to score and had knocked a few out of the stadium.
“But the most important thing is that the team is scoring and winning games. Everybody is chipping in, which is good.
“Sharpy is the main man at the moment when it comes to getting goals, but it is good that they are getting spread around.”
You have to go back to August 20 since Chris Wilder’s side suffered a league loss and Fleck admits that protecting that proud statistic and carrying on the run for as long as possible is proving a big motivation.
That much could also be garnered from a frank half-time exchange of views among the players in the dressing room on Sunday, when the Blades trailed 1-0 and it certainly did the trick.
Fleck added: “If you are playing for a big club like this, then you need a winning mentality. Obviously, the manager has got it and the boys have got it too.
“We have just got to keep things ticking over. The longer the run goes on, the more people want to stop you. But we want to keep it going for as long as we possibly can. We want to protect it.
“Leon (Clarke) did not start, but it was great to see him, and people like Jake Wright and Billy Sharp, telling the boys what to do.
“Training every day is at a really good tempo and if it is not, then it gets stopped. That says a lot.
“Really, all that we can do is keep working hard and plugging away.”