Leon Clarke’s capture key for new Sheffield United chief

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder
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CHRIS WILDER insists the potential at Sheffield United is unlimited.

The Blades are about to embark on their sixth consecutive season in League One.

Hopes are high that United can finally punch their weight in the third tier and mount a serious assault on promotion.

Wilder, appointed in the summer following Nigel Adkins’s departure, has been busy in terms of rebuilding the Bramall Lane squad with Leon Clarke the latest arrival this week from Bury.

“The new players have integrated well and we have been away a week,” said the former United defender, who will take his side to Bolton Wanderers a week today to kick-off the new campaign.

“I am really looking forward to the season. If we can get it going – and having been part of the club under Harry (Dave Bassett) and then watching from the stands under Neil (Warnock) – this club can go anywhere it wants.

“But, first and foremost, we have to start winning football games regularly.”

Clarke’s capture on a three-year deal from Bury is seen by Wilder as a “key acquisition”.

United already have Matt Done, Marc McNulty and last season’s top scorer Billy Sharp at the club but 31-year-old Clarke, who netted 18 goals last term, is seen by the manager as someone who will allow more tactical flexibility than has been the case in recent seasons.

“I have been very impressed and enthused by the players and their attitude,” said Wilder after a summer that has seen seven new faces arrive and a dozen depart. “They just needed a bit of a spark to bring it all together.

“Recruitment is a massive part of the job. We have trimmed the squad, we have brought quality and we have brought leaders into the club. There is still work to do but I have been delighted with the work we have done and the attitude the existing players have shown.”