Sheffield United: Boss thanks Blades for backing determined Gary Madine
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has thanked supporters for welcoming Gary Madine to Bramall Lane despite fears the centre-forward's presence would split opinion on the terraces.
Madine was cheered onto the pitch when he made his home debut for the club against Bolton Wanderers last weekend, helping United to record a 2-0 win which briefly saw them climb to second in the Championship table.
Acknowledging the 28-year-old's controversial past and previous association with Sheffield Wednesday might prove difficult for some to accept, Wilder is delighted Madine's commitment to United has been recognised as his team attempts to maintain its promotion challenge.
"Gary, making his debut at our place, he got a great reception as far as I'm concerned," Wilder, whose side visits Aston Villa on Friday night, said. "I thank the supporters for that because I know how desperate he is to do well for the football club."
United travel to the Midlands in third, three points behind leaders Norwich City, after Darren Farke's men beat second-placed Leeds following their victory over Wanderers.
Madine is expected to make his fourth appearance for United at Villa Park after impressing Wilder with his attitude both on the pitch and behind the scenes since arriving on loan from Cardiff City.
"He's been excellent," Wilder said, "In terms of his performances in the week and also his attitude. That's what you want to see."
Jordan Doherty, United's teenage midfielder, has become the third member of the club's development squad to complete a loan move abroad after signing for Tampa Bay Rowdies. Doherty, aged 18, is scheduled to remain with the USL Championship club, who are managed by former United defender Neil Collins, until November.
Sam Graham and Stephen Mallon completed moves to Central Coast Mariners, of the Australian A-League, last month.