Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is delighted with the impact James Hanson has made since arriving at Bramall Lane from Bradford City.
The centre-forward marked his debut for the South Yorkshire club with a goal during last weekend’s 4-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon; a result which saw them climb back to the top of League One.
Admitting that Hanson’s presence had brought a different dynamic to United’s attack, Wilder said:” I know a lot of people up the road (at Bradford) and you always go on maybe the reaction of someone’s team mates. I’m sure there’s a few Bradford boys who were really disappointed that he left. He’s been excellent. They really rate him up there and I know our boys do. It’s important that he carries on his good form.”
City’s Stephen Darby paid an emotional tribute to Hanson when his move to United was finalised, claiming the 29-year-old “epitomised what this football club’s about.”
“He was such an unselfish player who did everything for the team, not just in the attacking box but defending as well,” Darby continued “All the lads appreciated that and how much he gave the side.”
Those qualities were in evidence during the meeting with Neal Ardley’s side when, after stretching United’s lead following Billy Sharp’s opener, Hanson spent much of the afternoon tracking back towards his own box to help snuff-out opposition attacks.
Although fellow new signings Jay O’Shea and Joe Riley failed to appear, another new arrival, Samir Carruthers, made his second United appearance during the closing stages after recovering from an ankle problem.
“All of the lads who have come in, they’ve really impressed,” Wilder said. “They’ve all given us a good problem.
“Samir on his debut a month ago, Jay O’Shea has taken the club by storm and has been so unfortunate not to start. Caolan (Lavery) has done well and then there’s Joe knocking on the door too. The numbers, are they bloated? No. And there are some great young lads in there. Don’t forget them.”
John Fleck and Lavery were also on the score sheet as United ended their three match winless run.
“We’re not getting carried away,” Wilder said. “There’s lots of football left.”