MARK ROBINS wants more consistency from Adam Hammill and more goals from Jon Stead.
Town’s boss believes he has sealed two telling deals as he prepares for his first full season at the club.
The capture of Wolves winger Hammill, who had a loan spell at Town under Simon Grayson last season, brings a reunion after he and Robins worked together at Barnsley.
The 25-year-old Liverpool product, who has agreed a three-year deal with Town having the option of a further 12 months, believes it was the best spell of his career to date.
And his new boss has challenged the ex-England Under 21 man to get his career firmly back on course by helping Town make a Championship challenge.
“I know just how much impact Adam can have at this level and I understand he showed glimpses of that during his loan spell here last season before I arrived,” said Robins.
“Our job – and the challenge for Adam – is to work very hard on the training pitch and get him playing at a consistently high level.”
Scouser Hammill scored twice in 16 outings for Town between September and January, and Robins added: “He can be a very exciting player.
“Adam has lots of ability with the ball at his feet and will fit very well into the style of football we want to play, as he can play on either side or with the main striker.
“As everyone knows, increasing our goal-scoring threat is the priority for us at the moment and the arrival of Adam and Jon is another element of this.”
Hammill has played 206 games and scored 18 goals in a career which has also taken in loans at Dunfermline, Southampton, Blackpool and Middlesbrough.
During his previous Town spell, he was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty to a drunken assault on two female paramedics in Liverpool.
And he says he wants to repay the club for the support they gave him, explaining: “It was second to none and coming back here was a no-brainer.
“I have a lot of repaying to do for the faith the club and the fans have shown in me. That made a massive impact.
“I’m also delighted to be working with a familiar team and a manager who, in the past, has brought my full potential to the fore.
“He knows my strengths and weakness. At Barnsley, he gave me the freedom to express myself on the pitch and my spell under him was the best of my career to date.
“I think he deals with players excellently on a one-to-one basis and I have no doubt that I will thrive under him again.
“I want to come here and play regularly. I started fairly well at Wolves (he joined in January 2011), but the last two seasons haven’t gone to plan. This feels like the right time to move on.
“Huddersfield fans saw glimpses of what I could do during my loan spell, but I got injured and then I had the off-the-field incident.
“I’ve put that behind me now, but that’s why I feel I owe this club so much and I plan to give it back as I come to my prime as a footballer.
“I want to improve on my form from Barnsley and exceed any expectations, because I believe I have matured into a better player and also a better person.”
For Stead, of course, it’s a return home for the 30-year-old Town academy product whose flourishing form as a youngster earned him a big move to then Premier League Blackburn.
His 24 goals in 76 games for Town persuaded Rovers to splash out £1.25m in February 2004, and Stead’s flying start at Ewood brought him an England Under 21 call-up.
The 6ft 3in man has also played for Sunderland, Sheffield United and Ipswich, and at club level, has 90 goals in 387 matches.
Robins explained: “We are obviously putting together a new forward line and we need intelligence, movement, pace and presence.
“Jon can certainly link the play, and he has real experience. I have spoken to him about goals. He has always scored consistently but I believe he can get more than he has done.
“He’s a very different player to the one that left this club back in 2004 and he was very popular with the supporters at Bristol City.
“He will fit in very well as a ‘number nine’ in the system we want to play and just as importantly, he showed a real desire to return.
“As soon as Jon knew of our interest he immediately turned down the other Championship offers that he had.”
Stead, who has signed a two-year contract with Town having the option of a further 12 months, said: “I had three very good years at Bristol City and my relationship with the supporters was one I hadn’t felt anywhere since I left Huddersfield.
“Coming back here was the only move that made sense to me once I left Bristol. I had a few other offers, but this is the club I wanted to come and play for.
“Town are really progressing. There is a lot of passion from the owner and he brings so much to the club.
“I think I echo that passion for the town and the team and I still believe I have a lot to give. I’m looking forward to having a positive impact.
“Obviously more strikers will come in – I know everyone is working extremely hard behind the scenes to get the right kind of players here.
“The manager has talked about the need for a good, strong squad that can cope with the high demands of the Championship.
“I think I will play plenty of games, but like anyone, I know I’m not guaranteed a place in the side.
“I will work hard and hopefully I can spread some of the knowledge I’ve learned over the last 10 years to the younger players.
“I’m really looking forward to the season.”