Leon Clarke and Karl Hawley give Scunthorpe United different options up front
Leon Clarke's debut goal has given Scunthorpe United an instant insight into what manager Alan Knill believes the striker will bring to Glanford Park during his three months on loan.
Having started Saturday's clash with Sheffield United on the bench, the Charlton Athletic front man needed just three-and-a-half minutes to make his mark when he came on as a 56th-minute replacement for Connor Jennings.
Winger Mark Duffy flicked the ball into the box and Clarke rose powerfully above Blades duo Tony McMahon and Harry Maguire before cushioning a header low into the bottom corner of the net.
It is the sort of physical presence United – who saw the nine-man visitors hit back to snatch a point late on - have lacked during what has been a worrying start to the campaign.
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But after seeing the impact Clarke made during a spell on loan at one of League One's strugglers last season, Chesterfield (where he scored nine times in 14 games), Knill is hoping for a similar impact.
"It was difficult finding the sort of striker we were looking at for the price we were going to pay," said the Iron boss.
"Once (Charlton boss) Chris Powell had said we could have him and we'd agreed a price, it was a case of Leon saying yes and we thought we had a chance because he went to Chesterfield last year and scored a lot of goals.
"When I spoke to him I said 'come here and do exactly the same thing'.
"There's nothing like playing football at league level and he jumped at it. Hopefully we'll get the same sort of reaction as he had at Chesterfield.
"He scores goals. You put the ball in the box – even to his feet – and he's dangerous.
"Previously we didn't have the option where you could hang the ball in the box and someone would head it.
"We had to work a lot harder to get round the back of people and across the box.
"Now we've got another option."
Clarke had to make his debut from the bench as he had only linked up with the Iron squad on Saturday morning.
He is almost certain though to be elevated to the starting line-up for Saturday's trip to Shrewsbury Town.
"The good thing is we've got this week to integrate him into what we want him to be and how we play. He gives us more options," admitted Knill.
He could be joined in making his full Scunthorpe debut at the Greenhous Meadow by Karl Hawley, another new recruit who signed a short-term contract with United the day before their clash with the Blades.
An experienced figure at this level – he has played more than 200 league matches at the likes of Carlisle United, Preston North End and Notts County, where he was freed at the end of last season – Knill says the 30-year-old also brings something different to an attack which has all too often failed to look threatening.
"I spoke to Keith Curle about Karl Hawley on Tuesday," explained Knill.
"He had him at Notts County last season and said he was sharp and scored goals.
"All of a sudden, out of the blue, I had a phone call from Karl asking if he could come in and train with us.
"We had him in Thursday and he did really well.
"He's different as well to what we've got. We've got Grells and Connor and now Karl, who's nippy and bright and can get in behind people, and obviously we've got Leon, who's more of a target for us.
"I think it's important to have four strikers. You have to have that competition all the time to bring out the best in each other.
"That was why if we could get Karl on a deal that suits us and him, we'd jump at it.
"Both him and Leon have been training, so we hope they're up to match fitness.
"Even if they're not though, they had a big impact for us."