Sheffield United: Gary Madine reveals when he first considered joining the Blades as he praises Chris Wilder, his teammates and the Bramall Lane support
It was two years ago, during a routine conversation with Bolton's goalkeeping coach Lee Butler, that the idea of joining Sheffield United was first planted in Gary Madine's mind.
The former Wednesday striker had found a home at Wanderers after nomadic loan spells at Carlisle United, Coventry and Blackpool, and a decent goals ratio - as well as his style of play - had caught the eye of Blades boss Chris Wilder.
“Our goalkeeping coach at Bolton mentioned that Chris liked me, and I said 'I'd love to go there'," said Madine.
"My agent wasn't so keen because he knew the move would split opinion, but I know the way I play would be appreciated by the fans.
"I’m never going to get them out of their seats by beating three or four players, bit I put in 100 per cent every game and work hard. I'm glad they appreciate that and it was nice to top that off with a couple of goals.”
Madine, who was interested in a move to United towards the end of his time at Wednesday, was speaking after getting off the mark for the Blades - ending a 24-game drought – following his loan move from Cardiff City last month, which divided opinion amongst Blades fans when news of it first emerged in the media.
Clutching his shirt as a keepsake and a bottle of champagne as the sponsors' man of the match, Madine made his way to the Bramall Lane media room after the game and conceded freely that he has had his “troubles" away from football - in 2013 he was jailed after being found guilty of causing actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm in two separate attacks.
But he added: “As far as Monday to Saturday goes, I work as hard as anyone. I’m as pleasant as anyone and I get on with everyone.
"The goals have been a long time coming but I haven’t played much football, and I'd like to thank the gaffer for showing faith in me and bringing me in.
"The lads, too have been brilliant with me since the day I walked through the door and the fans gave me a great reception. I couldn't ask for any more.
“Joining United wasn't difficult at all. Football-wise, it was perfect for me. Every time I've played against them it's been difficult, and the gaffer as had a lot of success in his relatively short career and has done really well.
"We have quality over the pitch - Billy Sharp was on the bench against Reading and he’s scored over 20 goals this season.
"So we've got strength in depth all over the place and it's a really good place to be at the minute."