Good Evans! Sheffield United boss Wilson expects top clubs to come knocking
Danny Wilson marvelled at the eye-catching scoring exploits of Ched Evans but admitted he is bracing himself for an attempt to lure him away from Bramall Lane before the month is out.
The in-form former Manchester City striker is key to Sheffield United’s League and Cup aspirations this season, but a bid for his services would leave the cash-strapped Blades as vulnerable as some of the defences he has torn apart in recent weeks.
His goal in a routine 3-1 FA Cup third round win over Salisbury City meant he has scored 12 times in his last 10 appearances, yet Wilson was unsure whether to feel cheered or choked by the impact of such a remarkable return.
Can't keep a good man down: Lowly Salisbury struggled to keep the more fluid United at bay
United are handily placed for
promotion to the Championship and carried far too much attacking threat
for Conference South side Salisbury’s giantkilling ambitions. Yet Wilson
fears that, by the time the fourth round arrives on the last weekend of
this month, the 22-year old may have gone.
‘He has been noticed by other clubs
for a while, and we have always known that if he gets his head right and
gets on the ball, he will score goals,’ said the United manager.
he go in January I hope not, and there has been nothing so far that we
need to listen to. I hope that continues to be the case, but I’ve a
sneaky feeling someone will hit us with a bid towards the end of the
‘I don’t want him to go anywhere at
any time, but it wouldn’t surprise me if someone came in at the death
and tried to do something. I would hope we could resist it, but the
reality is we are trying to cut the wage bill at the moment, and Ched is
part of that.
'He is out of contract at the end of
the season, and, should we get through January, he wants to see where we
are then. If we don’t go up, I would suggest it won’t be easy to keep
him. I’m not saying there would be no chance, but the outlook would be
better if we are promoted.
'Like any player, Ched wants to test
himself at the highest level possible, and when you look at his game,
you see there is a lot more about him than just scoring goals. His
link-up play and attitude to defending have been outstanding, as well.
'I thought this was actually one of
his quieter games today, well though he played. The last couple of
months, he has been exceptional. He was still a handful against
Salisbury, but when he is really firing, he takes some stopping. I have
been so impressed with him.
Moment to cheer: Lloyd Macklin scores Salisbury's goal
'But the club is in the position it
is in, and we have to make the best of it. If it means we are going to
lose players, and I’m not happy about it, then you accept it, get on
with it and just do your best to get one or two in. The owners have put a
lot of money into the club, and I’m not going to whinge about it. I
won’t lose any sleep over it.'
Salisbury seldom threatened an upset
and were already 3-0 down before fashioning their only real chance of
the game. It did at least provide a memorable moment for substitute
Lloyd Macklin, who rifled an 86th-minute shot past Steve Simonsen from
the edge of the area.
'I haven’t seen Danny Wilson yet, but
I will be before we head home,' said Macklin. 'I played for him when he
was Swindon manager, so I will enjoy talking him through that goal. I
thought we gave a good account of ourselves and were a bit unlucky with a
couple of deflections for two of their goals, but the Cup has been a
great experience for all of us.'
Sheffield United were posed few
problems by the lowest-ranked side left in the cup. Any thoughts of an
upset for non-League Salisbury were dashed after Chris Porter opened the
The visitors continued to battle but
the only real surprise was how long it took United to add to their total
as Mark Scott in the Salisbury goal produced a string of superb saves.