Sheffield United: Chris Wilder rubbishes claims Leon Clarke and Billy Sharp can’t play together at Blades

Leon Clarke of Sheffield United celebrates scoring against Bradford. Pic: Jamie Tyerman/Sportimage
Leon Clarke of Sheffield United celebrates scoring against Bradford. Pic: Jamie Tyerman/Sportimage
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Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admits he’s “delighted” to see Leon Clarke back in a Blades shirt after the striker’s red-hot goal streak continued on Monday.

Clarke’s impressive brace in the 3-0 victory over Yorkshire rivals Bradford City were his fifth and sixth goals in the last five games, a run which included vital strikes against Coventry, Northampton and Port Vale.

The 32-year-old has endured a difficult season after a succession of injuries stunted his progress at Bramall Lane, and Wilder said: “I am delighted for Leon.

“He has had a tough old season with injuries and bits and pieces. And I hear people say he and Billy can’t play together, but look at them against Bradford.

“They have a partnership. Billy is sat on 199 career goals, goes clean through but squares the ball to Leon to score. Everyone expected Billy to shoot but he laid it on a plate for Leon.

“That summed it all up for me. People also say Billy doesn’t work back. First half, he was back in our defending third after 44 minutes.

“Not that I think that is too great at times because I want him up top. But he is doing the job for us there like that, and it’s great to see.”

Clarke opened the scoring after just 13 minutes with a fine finish, and United simply overwhelmed their visitors from West Yorkshire to remain well on course to reach the 100-point barrier.

“That has been the hallmark of this side,” Wilder added.

“We are not going to be out-fought here. We talked about the first 15 minutes of the game being absolutely massive, as a marker of what we are about.

“Obviously, we showed how we were going to go about it and I was delighted at that.”