Sheffield United: ‘Signing Gary Madine means we will play even more football, not less’

Gary Madine: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Gary Madine: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder has quashed fears that signing Gary Madine means Sheffield United are preparing to abandon their footballing principles and become a 'route one' team instead.

Instead, speaking ahead of this weekend's visit to Norwich City, Wilder insisted the centre-forward's arrival on loan from Cardiff means United can now pose opponents even more complex problems.

Madine, who could make his full debut for Wilder's side at Carrow Road, is best known for his physical attributes and man-handled Swansea's defence during a second-half cameo in South Wales four days ago.

The 28-year-old's combative display prompted suggestions United could be about to ditch their pioneering system, which includes attacking wing-backs and over-lapping centre-halves, in favour of a more direct approach.

But Wilder, insisting that demonstrates a lack of understanding about Madine's all-round game, said: "Gaz gives us an option but it's not the option to come on with 20 minutes or 15 minutes to go. He will bring a lot to this football club, you saw that (against Swansea). You saw what he's going to bring.

"He's a clever player too. The thing that I know has impressed the lads is his attitude. I'm really pleased with how he trains, he puts it all in. But he knows that's got to continue because it's what we demand here."

United head to Norfolk fourth in the Championship table, three points behind City who occupy the second automatic promotion spot. Wilder's players know a repeat of their win in the corresponding fixture last season will see them climb above Daniel Farke's side on goal difference.

Although United were narrowly beaten by Swansea, Wilder is convinced they can enter their latest fixture in confident mood.

"The picture is good," he said. "So what we have to do now is bounce back and we've been good at that.

"There were a few times down there, especially when we saw Gaz peel away from his marker and Leon peel away from his marker when the right ball didn't come in. But that's something we can work on and the lads' attitude is great."