Blades ‘baby’ is growing up fast

Off the mark: Loan signing Sam Vokes scored his first goal in United colours in the win over Forest on Tuesday.
Off the mark: Loan signing Sam Vokes scored his first goal in United colours in the win over Forest on Tuesday.
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SHEFFIELD United striker Sam Vokes is close to realising his full potential, assistant manager Alan Cork predicted last night.

The Wales international opened his account for the South Yorkshire club with a clinical finish during Tuesday’s win over Nottingham Forest and is expected to feature at Watford tomorrow despite a minor hamstring complaint.

Revealing that United are exploring the possibility of extending Vokes’ loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers - “if we’re allowed to then I’m sure it’s something we’ll look at” - Cork said: “Sam is a good targetman. He flicks the balls on straight.

“Obviously he needs to get games under his belt but hopefully that’s going to be the case from now on. His goal against Forest, where he got into the right area and tucked the ball through the keeper’s legs, showed the qualities that he’s got.”

Cork, a former United and Wimbledon centre-forward, added: “There are still areas where Sam can improve but at 21 years old he’s still a baby and he’ll get better with the more matches he plays.

“He can back in to his marker a lot more and win us a few more free-kicks but he’ll learn all of that as he gets more experienced.”

While United’s senior squad prepare for their visit to Vicarage Road, John Pemberton’s youth team are celebrating after reaching the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup courtesy of Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Leicester City.

Elliott Whitehouse’s brace at The Walkers Stadium set up a two legged tie with last season’s runners-up, Aston Villa. Holders Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool are still in the competition.

“It’s great for the lads,” said Cork. “It’s a really fantastic achievement for them and they should be very proud.

“It shows how well they’ve done when you look at who is still in there.”

Pemberton added: “We’re not just playing neat, fancy football. You also need a steel and we’re becoming hard to beat. Under-pressure we were outstanding.”