Chris Wilder has hailed the impact of on-loan striker Gary Madine after seeing Sheffield United leapfrog Leeds United in the race for promotion to the Premier League.
The former Sheffield Wednesday striker opened his Blades account with two goals - the first he has scored in 13 months - in a convincing 4-0 win over Championship strugglers Reading.
The Blades manager took a calculated risk by resting top scorers Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick, and starting Madine and debut-maker Scott Hogan - two strikers who joined on loan last month - and it paid off handsomely.
Madine has quickly won over United’s supporters, despite his links with city rivals Wednesday, and the standing ovation when he was substituted late in the game came as no surprise to Wilder.
“Supporters, especially our supporters, take to players who work hard and graft, who want to be team players,” said Wilder.
“He is certainly one of those. There’s a few times when he could have been selfish but he tried to put Scott (Hogan) in.
“He’s desperate to score and he’s desperate to help us out. That’s great for me. He contributes. There’s a lot more to his game, he’s got a lot more attributes, other than just scoring though.”
Supporters, especially our supporters, take to players who work hard and graft, who want to be team players.Chris Wilder