SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson insisted Ched Evans can take League One by storm this season after watching the striker deliver arguably his finest performance for the club.
Evans, who has often flattered to deceive since completing a £3m transfer from Manchester City two years ago, scored twice during Saturday’s FA Cup win over Oxford.
With Reading’s Simon Church withdrawing from the Wales squad which entertained Norway at the weekend, Wilson feared Evans would be called-up by the Principality before kick-off.
But with Gary Speed electing not to call upon his services, the United centre-forward delivered a timely reminder of his qualities as the home side cruised to a 3-0 win.
Wilson, who also praised fellow centre-forward Richard Cresswell’s contribution, said: “Ched hits the ball as hard as anyone I’ve known. But his work-rate pleased me too.
“I was keeping my fingers crossed he wouldn’t get taken away by Wales but he’s got to be close for them.
“The only reason he’s probably on stand-by is that he’s not playing at the highest or Championship level but if he keeps on doing that then it might not make a difference.
“Cressy was immense. If those two hadn’t been in the game then we would have had a real test. They were menacing.”
Evans, who has now scored seven in as many starts this season, had been criticised for a lacklustre display during United’s JP Trophy defeat by Bradford City four days earlier but Wilson added: “Ched’s attitude has been fantastic. He offered himself up as s**t on Tuesday so he wanted to make a response. That’s what Ched can do. If we can keep him fit he’ll be a real handful.”
Oxford manager Chris Wilder, a United supporter and former player, said: “United have great lads going forward and in midfield Stephen Quinn and Nick Montgomery who are much better than the level they are at.
“United have got proper football people in charge. Even so, I had a bloke behind me who was giving Danny stick at 3-0 and I don’t understand that. Get behind him.”
Wilson also revealed that Lee Williamson had played despite being taken ill on the morning of the match. “He’d been on the toilet most of the day so to go out there and do what he did was brilliant.”