'˜He was brilliant' - Chris Wilder praises his man after Sheffield United's win over QPR
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, claimed Leon Clarke is back to his best after describing the centre-forward's performance as 'brilliant' during last night's victory over Queens Park Rangers.
Although Clarke did not write his name on the scoresheet - Richard Stearman and John Lundstram were on target either side of the break before Luke Freeman netted for the visitors - Wilder felt his display had laid the platform for a win which moves United to seventh in the Championship table; a point behind the play-off positions.
With Ian Hollway, the Rangers manager, also citing Clarke’s contribution as critical, Wilder said: “Leon was brilliant out there for us. His worth ethic and willingness gave us a real focal point. We do listen and we’ve heard all the talk about Leon maybe needing a rest. Perhaps he did but he was bang on it.”
Clarke, aged 33, will enter Friday’s derby against Hull City as United’s leading scorer so far this season but without a goal in his last six outings.
Describing the former Rangers centre-forward as “looking like a proper player”, Rangers manager Ian Holloway insisted: “Chris has got to take massive credit for that.”
Wilder, who later revealed David Brooks had failed to appear after suffering a back spasm during the match, also confirmed James Wilson (ankle) and Ricky Holmes (back) are expected to be fit for the visit to the KCOM Stadium after missing the meeting with Rangers.
“I’ve been sick and tired of sitting in the office after a game with people going ‘we love the way you play, we love the way you go about things,’ and knowing we’d just drawn or whatever,” Wilder, whose side have now won their last two league fixtures, admitted. “So I’m delighted with the result, delighted with the fact we found a way and delighted with how the lads went about their work.”