SHEFFIELD UNITED: Boss Danny Wilson hails Danny Higginbotham

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HIS arrival did not provoke the same excitement among supporters as Jamie Murphy’s transfer from Motherwell but Danny Higginbotham already boasts an army of admirers behind the scenes at Bramall Lane.

Danny Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, told The Star that Higginbotham, signed until the end of the season after leaving top-flight outfit Stoke City, has commanded instant respect from coaching staff and team mates alike because of his attitude on the pitch.

“Danny, I’ve got to say, has been excellent,” Wilson said. “Not only in terms of what he has done during games but the way he has been during training in the week.

“He’s really fitted in well and he’s another captain for us. I don’t mean like Doyler (Michael Doyle) because he’s the one with the armband.

“But you always want as many players as possible out there who are captains in everything but name and Danny is one of those.”

Higginbotham, who started his career at Manchester United before enjoying spells with the likes of Derby County, Sunderland and Ipswich Town, is expected to emerge as an increasingly influential figure after fellow defender Matt Hill joined Neill Collins on the sidelines ahead of this weekend’s visit of Yeovil Town due to a fractured jaw.

Aged 34, Higginbotham partnered Harry Maguire during last weekend’s FA Cup third round success over Oxford which saw Murphy make his debut for the League One club after leaving Fir Park. Goals from Tony McMahon, Dave Kitson and Nick Blackman saw United book a trip to Reading later this month.

Wilson said: “Danny isn’t the only player we’ve got here with that attitude because that’s one thing I’ll never have anyone criticise these lads for; their commitment.

“But it’s always good to bring another one in and that’s what we’ve done.”