Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says the club is using the unexpected time off to work on summer recruitment and new contracts.
Professional football in England has been postponed until April 30 at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As things stand the Blades are still training. But as part of the next stage of football’s shutdown will now being doing so in smaller groups.
Everyone but the first team had already been banned from the training ground. Exercise bikes are being sent to the players’ houses as it becomes increasingly likely they will have to remain match fit from home.
Yet Wilder, who has taken United from the League One relegation zone to seventh in the Premier League in less than four years in charge, isn’t wasting this unexpected break in play.
The 52-year-old is still going into the office and working on the future of his squad.
How Sheffield United are working on recruitment and contracts
There are many big decisions to be made ahead of next season. It’s still unclear when the current one will be concluded, if at all. But Wilder isn’t letting that stop the constant progress being made at Bramall Lane.
“The game grips you. It’s with you 24/7. It’s very rare that you slip out of thinking about the game, the job, what you are trying to do,” the Blades boss told the Daily Mail.
“Even now, with all the restrictions and the suspension of football, we are talking about how we can maximise this time.
“We are looking at recruitment for the summer, really studying what we need, thinking about whether this is an opportunity to nail down some of the contracts players have been offered. We are very organised and proactive. We’re planners as well. We are always studying other teams to educate ourselves.”
Enda Stevens was the latest player to commit his long-term future to United by signing a new deal. It came shortly after John Fleck had something similar, with both penning contracts until 2023.
Then there are decisions to be made on the ten players out of contract this summer. Finally, will options to sign loanees Panos Retsos and Richairo Zivkovic be taken up?
Even with no games being played, there could still be some big news coming out of the club in the near future.