HE has swapped the basket case that is Blackburn Rovers for life under the microscope at Bramall Lane.
But Nick Blackman, who heads to Colchester tomorrow searching for this third goal in only four outings, has reassured Danny Wilson he possess the strength of character to shoulder Sheffield United’s attacking charge.
“At times I felt I should have been involved more at Rovers,” Blackman, who made two starts for Steve Kean’s side, told The Star. “But the fact is that I wasn’t and so I had to cut my ties.
“I’m at an age now where I need to be getting regular football and want to help Sheffield United get back to where they belong.”
Wilson, the United manager, described Blackman as a “proper talent” after watching him secure the visitors a deserved point at Coventry City in midweek.
Arguably the most impressive aspect the youngster’s performances so far has been his contribution in general play. Amid the chaos of Venky’s reign at Ewood Park, coaching staff appear to have forgotten they had a player capable of combining a physical threat with good old fashioned finishing on their books.
Steve Kean’s loss is United’s gain with Wilson first alerted to the 22-year-old’s potential during his spells on loan with Motherwell and Aberdeen.
Blackman, who worked under Craig Brown and assistant Archie Knox - a former colleague of Sir Alex Ferguson - at both Fir Park and Pittodrie, said: “I think he (Knox) either gave Fergie his hairdryer or picked it up. I was on the receiving end a few times.”
“I’m under different pressure now than at Rovers,” Blackman continued. “There aren’t many clubs who get the travelling support we do and I’m also being asked to lead the line.”
United travel to Essex hoping to preserve their unbeaten start to the League One season having opened the new campaign with a victory over Shrewsbury Town.
Blackman, who was also on target during the Capital One Cup tie against Burton Albion, said: “I thought we showed great maturity (at Coventry) because after going behind, we didn’t change the way we played.”