Chris Wilder joked that Clayton Donaldson owed him two goals on his Sheffield United debut after previously rejecting moves to clubs he managed.
The centre-forward, a deadline day signing from Birmingham City, scored once in each half as Wilder’s side heaped further pressure on Championship strugglers Sunderland before being substituted with a hamstring problem.
Wilder, who led United to the League One title last season, said: “He has mugged me off about eight times, so we were delighted to get him.
“If you ask any manager who has had him, or player who has played with him, they will come to the same conclusion; that he is hardworking, under-rated, first class goalscorer and a team player.
“We bring in players who want to play for the shirt and not players who are only interested in what is in it for them. We were delighted to get his signature and hopefully he will have a successful season for us.”
Donaldson completed a cut-price transfer to Bramall Lane last month and announced his arrival with a match-winning display at the Stadium of Light.
The former Brentford and Crewe striker pounced midway through the opening period before injuring himself as he doubled United’s lead during the closing stages of their 2-1 win.
Donaldson was scheduled to undergo a series of tests as medics attempts to ascertain whether he will be fit for Tuesday’s trip to Bolton Wanderers.
“We had to wait because Birmingham needed to get their players in before they could release players which is the conundrum for every manager involved in transfer deadline day,” Wilder explained. “Supporters might ask why did you leave it late in the day but sometimes it is out of your hands.
“It is a juggling act but we always thought Clayton might be available. He has had a fantastic start for us. Clubs are at different levels and Clayton fitted what we needed. The players Harry (Redknapp, City’s manager) has brought in will no doubt be successful for what Birmingham need.”
“We get money in, get it out,” Wilder, whose team is fifth in the table, added. “Sometimes we have to sell and we have sell-ons on the big deals. The academy is there, it is part of the club and we use it but these lads have to get into a good side and we think we are a decent side.”