DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, has insisted Lee Williamson deserves a warm welcome when he returns to Bramall Lane next week.
Williamson, who joined Portsmouth earlier this year after refusing United’s offer of a new contract, was a key figure in the team which accumulated 90 points and scored 92 goals in League One last season.
The midfielder’s failure to agree terms has prompted claims he could endure a frosty reception when Michael Appleton’s side visit South Yorkshire on Monday.
But Wilson said: “I hope Lee gets a good reception. He certainly deserves one.
“He did absolutely fantastically for this club.
“I was disappointed to lose him because he’s a terrific player.
“But that’s football. We did and we move on.”
Williamson, aged 30, netted 20 times in nearly 90 appearances for United with 13 of those efforts scored during Wilson’s first campaign at the helm.
Despite interesting Nottingham Forest, who yesterday confirmed John Pemberton as their new performance development coach, he instead completed a transfer to Fratton Park after parting company with Wilson’s squad.
Portsmouth have been in administration since February but Wilson, whose team are still unbeaten in this season’s competition, warned: “When things settle down, I can see them challenging.
“When you see the players they’ve got, they’ve got some really quality there.
“We won’t be taking anything lightly against them.”
Wilson, reflecting on Tuesday’s victory over Walsall, said: “We didn’t pick up any knocks. Nothing new anyway and in that regard we’re okay.”