SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson last night heaped praise on Kevin McDonald’s shoulders as the South Yorkshire club prepare for their toughest month of the League One season so far.
United entertain leaders Charlton Athletic tomorrow before travelling to second-placed Preston North End next weekend.
But with games against MK Dons and arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday also looming on the horizon, Wilson believes they possess a player capable of unlocking any team in the division.
“Kevin has done well but he’s got so much more to offer,” he said. “There’s plenty more bubbling away just below the surface.
“Kevin can do a little bit more in terms of his tackling and his goalscoring but he had an injury a little while ago and that probably knocked him back a little bit.
“But there’s a great player in there just waiting to burst out.”
McDonald, aged 22, joined United on a free transfer earlier this year after being released by Burnley.
Having arrived at Turf Moor from Dundee in 2008, he first rose to prominence by scoring twice against Arsenal in a Carling Cup tie later that year.
Wilson added: “I don’t even feel as if Kevin knows how good he can be or what’s in his locker.
“He’s got more goals in him, a good shot in both feet and he can pass the ball.
“He’s played at a higher level before and that should only spur him on to do well here.
“Let’s be honest, if he’d shown his potential before then we probably wouldn’t have got him.
“Kevin is a quiet lad who prefers to do his talking on the pitch.”
United, who are third, could welcome back Nick Montgomery from injury after he completed 90 minutes of Wednesday’s Central League fixture against Walsall.
Defender Marcus Williams, on loan from Reading, should also feature after recovering from the dead leg he sustained at Wycombe Wanderers last weekend.