Danny sets sights on starting role

Sheffield United's  Danny philliskirk
Sheffield United's Danny philliskirk

SHEFFIELD United striker Danny Philliskirk wants to make it impossible for Danny Wilson to leave him out of the League One club’s starting 11 next season.

Philliskirk, whose loan from Chelsea was made permanent before Wilson’s squad departed for Malta on Thursday, described the week-long stay in the Mediterranean as “definitely the most important” phase of his career at Bramall Lane.

“We’ve got a new manager in charge and so everyone is trying really hard to make an impression on him,” the 20-year-old said. “But when you are a young player who is new as well then I think you’ve got even more to prove because you don’t have a record here to fall back on.

“I’m not taking anything for granted. I am totally determined to try and get myself into the side for the first game and, if not, then make sure that I take my chance and keep my place when I do get an opportunity.”

Despite the departures of Darius Henderson and Mark Yeates, competition for places in United’s attack is fierce with Richard Cresswell, Jordan Slew, Chris Porter and Ryan Flynn also vying for a role at Oldham next month.

However, with Ched Evans seemingly destined to follow his former colleagues through the exit door, Philliskirk is hoping to catch Wilson’s eye during United’s remaining pre-season friendlies; starting with Tuesday’s visit of Doncaster Rovers.

“The gaffer has told all of us that he wants more goals so that’s what I’m aiming to provide,” added Philliskirk. “He’s told us that the tap-ins from close range are just as important as those from 25 yards out.”

Evans counts Middlesbrough, Leicester and Cardiff among his admirers.

And Ipswich are also understood to be preparing a bid when a series of off-the-pitch problems surrounding the Wales international are resolved towards the end of the month.

n Blades: P39