SHEFFIELD UNITED: Nick tipped to reach the top

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SHEFFIELD United captain Michael Doyle is predicting a big future for teammate Nick Blackman following the striker’s impressive goal-scoring exploits in League One this season.

Since arriving from Blackburn Rovers over the summer, Blackman has plundered five goals in 12 appearances, including a superb individual goal at Leyton Orient last weekend which sealed their third win in four outings.

The 22-year-old is expected to spearhead the Blades attack when they entertain Oldham Athletic, one of his former clubs, this weekend.

“Nick is one of those players who can be whatever he wants to be,” Doyle told The Star. “He has got all the attributes to be a top player. He is six foot plus, is strong and can hold the ball up.

“He has done well and is getting a lot of the plaudits. He has still got so much to offer and I think we are starting to see that now.

“Nick is going to be a big player for us this year and the more goals he scores, the more confident he is going to get.”

Blackman had gone four matches without a goal before the Orient clash and central midfielder Doyle admitted: “It was massive for Nick to score on Saturday. He has got that hunger and wants to score every game. He is disappointed when other people are scoring because he wants to score all the time which shows his ruthlessness.”

Asked if Blackman could play in the Premier League in the future, Doyle said: “Who knows. It is not for me to say. If he is scoring goals and doing what he is good at, he will probably end up playing there and hopefully that’s at Sheffield United.”

Blackman is enjoying playing alongside Dave Kitson up front, saying: “He is so experienced, he never stops talking to me throughout the game, which only benefits my performance.”

n Blades: P58