Sheffield United: Why players like Martin Cranie, who has signed a new contract, are invaluable at Bramall Lane
Manager Chris Wilder has praised Martin Cranie's contribution to Sheffield United's push for Premier League football after the defender agreed a new contract at Bramall Lane.
Cranie, aged 32, will remain in South Yorkshire until at least the end of the season following Wilder's decision to award him an extended deal.
With Bramall Lane's board of directors processing the paperwork earlier today, Cranie became the latest member of United's first team squad to resolve his future after captain Billy Sharp triggered a performance-related clause contained within his agreement last weekend.
"Martin is an excellent professional and has been a valuable member of the squad this season," Wilder said. "He's zero maintenance, he just comes in and works hard and when called upon, he's been ready and let no-one down."
Despite making only two league starts since arriving on a free transfer earlier this term, Wilder views Cranie as an integral part of United's promotion masterplan.Â Previously of Middlesbrough, the centre-half helped Huddersfield Town win the Championship play-offs two years ago.
Wilder, whose side travels to Swansea City this weekend second in the table, outlined the reasons behind Cranie's presence earlier this month.
"Martin knows what it takes to be competitive at the top end of the division," he said. "He's done that and been at clubs where there is a weight of expectation, who are expected to achieve, and that experience is invaluable.
"He knows his way around and sets the right example. You can't have too many people like that behind the scenes and you also need people of the right quality to be there pushing those in the starting eleven and who are capable of stepping in and challenging when required.
"That helps to raise levels throughout."Â