Sheffield United: '˜Gary is desperate to repay the fans for their generosity,' Chris Wilder says as Madine prepares to make his Blades bow
Gary Madine is determined to repay the support he has received from Sheffield United supporters by helping deliver Premier League football to Bramall Lane, manager Chris Wilder has revealed, after being encouraged by the response to the centre-forward's presence.
Wilder, who indicated Madine is likely to make his long-awaited debut against Swansea City today, also confirmed the former Sheffield Wednesday player's arrival on loan from Cardiff has coaxed even greater levels of performance out of team mates including Conor Washington and Leon Clarke.
United embarked upon a carefully orchestrated charm offensive when Madine was unveiled earlier this month, acknowledging his previous issues off the pitch might divide some of their fans.
But the 28-year-old's name received a round of applause when it was announced ahead of last weekend's victory over Queens Park Rangers, with defender George Baldock later telling the media he had been "welcomed" into the dressing room.
"I've said enough about Gaz coming here," Wilder, who kept Madine on the bench throughout the 1-0 win, said. "He was delighted with the reception he got.Â "We've got to get him up to speed, he's not played much first team football lately. I thought it was right to put him on the bench. He's had a taste and he wants more.Â
"He's been delighted with the first week of his career here but he wants to get out there, as they all do. His time will come."
If, as expected, Madine is introduced at the Liberty Stadium, he will receive a more hostile response from City's followers given his association with their arch-rivals.
United travelled to Wales second in the table, four points behind Leeds and above Norwich, who faced Birmingham City last night, on goal difference.
Assessing the attacking options at his disposal, Wilder said: "Our bench, with him and Kieron (Dowell) also coming in, looks a lot stronger.Â "Billy (Sharp) is doing what Billy does. David McGoldrick is doing well, Leon is looking at Gary and thinking he's got to force the issue. Wash was the unfortunate one to drop out last time and he'll be thinking I've got to push it as well."