Chris Wilder believes Sheffield United have only seen a glimpse of James Wilson’s potential after the centre-forward scored on his full debut for the club during the victory over Norwich City.
Wilson, signed on loan from Manchester United, pounced less than seven minutes into a game which later saw Clayton Donaldson double the visitors’ advantage before Ivo Pinto guaranteed a grandstand finish.
Wilder, who also included fellow new signings Ryan Leonard and Lee Evans in his starting eleven at Carrow Road, was impressed by the 22-year-old’s performance but said: “James, I’m sure, will get even better the longer he’s with us. He’s looked really sharp since coming in but, the more football he plays, the sharper he should become.
“The lad, like the rest of the lads out there, worked ever so hard. He tired towards the end, as you would expect because he’s not had much senior football this season. He’s fit and he says he feels good but, as his fitness improves, so will his displays.”
Wilson laid the platform for a win which saw United gain revenge for September’s defeat by City in South Yorkshire.
Having criticised the tactics Daniel Farke’s side employed during that game, Wilder celebrated wildly at the final whistle and pointed to his watch in an apparent reference to City’s time-wasting at Bramall Lane.
But, striking a more concilliatory tone during the post-match press conference, Wilder revealed: “It’s been an emotional week back home because my father-in-law, who is a big supporter of me and The Blades even more so, isn’t very well.
“The lads worked so hard and played some really good stuff against a side which, all credit to them, gave everything they had too and kept on going right until the end. They’re a good team, they’ve got some really good players, but we like to think the same goes for us too.”
United remained sixth in the Championship table ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Preston North End and Wilder added: “Some of the boys who didn’t get on the pitch have every reason to feel disappointed because of the way we’ve performed lately. We’ve not always been able to marry a good performance with a good result recently but, I’ve got no doubt, that has hard as Norwich tried we deserved it out there.”