Sheffield United: Barry’s best is yet to come

Influence: Robson (left) has been a big hit since joining Danny Wilson's side on a short-term deal
Influence: Robson (left) has been a big hit since joining Danny Wilson's side on a short-term deal

SHEFFIELD United’s League One rivals have been warned that Barry Robson, the South Yorkshire club’s international midfielder, has yet to reach the peak of his powers despite a series of influential displays since arriving at Bramall Lane.

Danny Wilson, the United manager, delivered his ominous message ahead of this weekend’s potentially pivotal encounter with AFC Bournemouth which could see the visitors return to the summit of the table.

Sheffield United

Sheffield United

Robson marked his full United debut with a goal during their victory over Colchester three days ago and Wilson said: “Barry is like a magnet for the football. He just drifts across the pitch and gets into exactly the right positions for it to come to him.

“He’s a different type of player to what we’ve got here and even though he’s doing well I don’t think we’ve seen anywhere near the best of him yet.

“When he gets up to full speed, especially the speed for this division, people will see what an asset he’s going to be for us.

“Well, to be honest, we’ve already seen that but I’ve got no doubts that, the more time he gets under his belt and the longer the season goes on, the better Barry is going to get.”

Robson, aged 34, joined United on a free transfer last month after severing his ties with Major League Soccer outfit Vancouver Whitecaps and has already emerged as an important member of Wilson’s squad.

Having amassed a wealth of experience during spells with Celtic and Middlesbrough, including 19.5 hours of European and Old Firm action, Robson is hopeful of adding to his collection of Scotland caps following mentor Gordon Strachan’s recent appointment as Craig Levein’s successor.

United will travel to Dorset having taken maximum points from their last three games and knowing a repeat of September’s triumph over AFC would banish any lingering doubts about their ability to claim one of the automatic promotion places after a chequered start to the New Year.

Reflecting on Robson’s spot-kick against Joe Dunne’s men, which was followed by strikes from Kevin McDonald and Dave Kitson, Wilson added: “I don’t think their ‘keeper even saw the ball hit the back of the net. It was such a powerful shot.

“Clearly, he’s very good when it comes to set-pieces. We saw that when he took a corner with his first touch for us (against Coventry) recently and it led to a goal.

“There’s an long way to go yet but after a period in America, we were delighted that we were able to bring Barry in and it’s still early days.”

Meanwhile, Matt Hill was included in the under-21 squad which faced Leeds in a Professional Development League fixture yesterday. Matty Harriott also travelled after returning from a loan spell with Alfreton Town.

*Twitter: James Shield1