JONATHAN Forte, the Sheffield United centre-forward, has revealed he is now a much improved player to the one which left Bramall Lane six years ago.
Having returned to South Yorkshire on-loan last week, Forte made his first appearance for United since April 2006 during Friday’s League One fixture with Coventry City.
Despite failing to prevent Danny Wilson’s side suffering a third straight home defeat, an exciting second-half cameo showcased the advances in Forte’s game which are expected to be rewarded with a more prominent role against Crawley Town tomorrow night.
“I’m much stronger now than I used to be,” Forte told The Star. “I can remember doing a good course of weights just after I left because I knew I had to get better at that.
“It was probably the first time I’d seen weights like that but it’s really helped me.
“Pace is probably still my biggest asset but I think I can handle myself much more now.”
Forte, who progressed through United’s youth system before joining Premier League new boys Southampton from Scunthorpe, is scheduled to spend the rest of the season with his home town club.
Should the move prove a success, Wilson could look to sign Forte on a permanent basis this summer.
“It’s a hard division,” Forte, who made 12 appearances for Town earlier this term, added. “But I’m ready for that.
“I’ve learned a lot being around the lads at Southampton and I feel much more confident too.”