Sheffield United: ‘He knows he’s got to come roaring back’
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has revealed Gary Madine now has an even greater incentive to help his team mates reach the Premier League after missing a series of important fixtures through suspension.
Madine, the former Sheffield Wednesday centre-forward, could make his first start since being sent-off against Brentford last month when Millwall visit Bramall Lane this weekend.
Wilder, whose squad are only a point outside the automatic promotion places with five games remaining, mounted a passionate defence of Madine's character following only the second red card of his career.
But, speaking ahead of United's meeting with Neil Harris' side, he confirmed the 28-year-old "knows" he must repay that trust with a series of commanding performances.
"I've not been disappointed with Gary at all," Wilder said. "Even for the first 20 minutes of that game (against Brentford), he was really good.
"He's not like the lad at Rangers (Alfredo Morelos) who is getting sent off five or six times a year. He was just overly exuberent.
"Some people didn't think it was a red. I thought it was borderline but I wasn't surprised to see it was a red. He knows he's got to come roaring back after missing three games."
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Madine, on loan from Cardiff City, appeared as a second-half substitute during United's draw at Birmingham City yesterday after completing his three match ban.
With Wilder contemplating changes this weekend - "We always pick a team to win the game" - Madine could be tasked with spearheading the hosts' attack while fellow loanee Scott Hogan also hopes for a recall.
Although the result at St Andrews left United a point behind Leeds in the Championship table, both Wilder and wing-back Enda Stevens later described it as potentially "important".
Stevens had earlier fired them into the lead before Michael Morrison became only the second opposition player to score a goal against United in their last 10 outings.
"I can't be up and down like a 'yo-yo' or a rollercoaster," Wilder said. "We'll keep on going, as we always have done, right until the final moment because it's about points gained over a period, not in one game."