Lyle Taylor will soon be firing on all cylinders, Sheffield United manager David Weir has claimed.
The former Falkirk centre-forward has made four appearances since completing a £250,000 transfer to Bramall Lane earlier this summer and is poised to start Saturday’s Yorkshire derby with Bradford City.
Taylor will enter that match searching for his first goal in United colours after scoring 29 times in 42 outings north of the border last term.
But Weir has no concerns about the 23-year-old’s potential and said: “Lyle is getting stronger and sharper with every single game and that’s good to see. You can see positive signs and improvement with every match so we know he’ll do well.”
Weir, who also represented the Scottish First Division club, underlined his faith in Taylor’s talents by agreeing to pay a significant sum in order to acquire his services.
The Star has learned that a number of clauses, relating to various performance related matters, were also inserted into the deal meaning the final amount owed could be considerably more should he prove a success.
Taylor has been a fixture in Weir’s starting eleven since the meeting with Brentford 11 days ago.
However, with fellow marksman Chris Porter unlikely to relish a prolonged period on the bench and United refusing to rule-out another foray into the transfer market, the former Millwall and AFC Bournemouth prospect knows he must produce.
Taylor delivered a frank critique of his performance during last weekend’s draw with Colchester, suggesting he possesses the personality Weir later insisted is required to survive the bear pit of League One competition.
“You can see with a few of the lads, that they’re beginning to understand what it’s like to play for a football club like this,” Weir said. “One where you are expected to win.
“You need a certain character to be able to cope with that and they’ve got it. In situations like that, of course it’s a challenge but it’s a challenge to enjoy and to savour.”
United are preparing for their visit to Valley Parade having taken four points from their opening three outings of the new season. City, last term’s beaten Capital One Cup finalists, boast the same total after embarking upon their first campaign in the competition since 2007.
James Hanson, the City centre-forward, was yesterday being assessed after damaging a hand in training on the eve of last weekend’s defeat at Port Vale. Phil Parkinson, the City manager, said: “I think it did (affect him). We’ll get it x-rayed and I just hope it’s not too serious.
“He fell awkwardly and cracked it. We only had five minutes of open free play.”