Sheffield United: Last season’s leading scorer will be firing on all cylinders soon, manager Chris Wilder predicts

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is adamant Leon Clarke will be off the mark soon
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is adamant Leon Clarke will be off the mark soon

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is not concerned by Leon Clarke's start to the new campaign, as Bramall Lane's leading scorer last season searches for his first competitive goal since May.

The centre-forward has failed to score in six outings so far this term and missed the 4-1 victory over Aston Villa due to a hamstring complaint.

But Clarke could return to action during next weekend's meeting with Bristol City at Ashton Gate; the scene of his most recent strike in senior action.

"Leon will get one and then he'll be up and running," Wilder said. "Don't you worry about that."He's putting the work in, he's putting the effort in and he's been contributing in other ways. When he gets his first (this term), then you know there's going to be plenty more coming along."

Clarke was one of the Championship's stand-out players last season, eclipsing multi-million pound signings such as Britt Assombalonga, Patrick Bamford and Diogo Jota as he netted 19 times in 39 appearances.

But captain Billy Sharp has emerged as United's most explosive performer since August, scoring four in six during their climb to third in the table. One of those efforts came during last weekend's thrashing of Steve Bruce's side, with Jack O'Connell, Oliver Norwood and Mark Duffy also on target.

New signing Conor Washington, Norwood's Northern Ireland team mate, made his United debut during the second-half of that game while David McGoldrick's display earned him plenty of plaudits.

"We've got options up there and that's what we wanted," Wilder said. "All of them bring something a little bit different to the table and we need that flexibility in a division as tough and demanding as this one is."

"I think you need four quality strikers," he added. "And that's what I reckon we've got. But everyone else has got to chip in (with goals) as well. That's why it was nice to see them get spread around a bit last time out."