Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom has been previewing this weekend’s game with Millwall and as usual, the talk turned to injuries and fitness.
The Blades seem to have continued on from last year in terms of being unlucky with injuries. Enda Stevens went down against Watford and has picked up a calf injury, while new signing Tommy Doyle has yet to feature. More seasoned Blades like Billy Sharp, Oli McBurnie, and Chris Basham also missed the season opener. Adam Davies was injured in pre-season, while there’s talk that Jack Robinson could miss months as well after colliding with Sander Berge in training.
Of course, Jayden Bogle has been missing for some time and is the furthest away from any game time. That means eight senior players need addressing, and Heckingbottom has done his best to provide an update on some of those players ahead of Millwall’s visit.
“Enda’s done his calf. I’ve had the report back on the extent of it. Tommy and Bash are back on the grass, they didn’t train today but we’ll have them back. Bash probably fit and available before Tommy,” Heckingbottom said (SUFC YouTube)
“Tommy will be a little bit longer, Bash is ready to go. Oli Mac is back training, Sharpy’s back training and had another week. Jayden Bogle’s running on the grass and he’s in a good place. So, bit by bit, we want them back.”
Our View: Heckingbottom Could Ring Changes For Millwall
As players do start to trickle back from injury and to full fitness, it becomes more apparent this Sheffield United squad has plenty of depth and quality.
As United host Millwall this weekend, Heckingbottom has the chance to change things up. The likes of Sharp or Brewster could start up top, while Reda Khadra might come into the Blades bosses thinking. At the back, Anel Ahmedhodzic will surely start to bring balance to the back three, while Basham’s return is also welcomed and he could be chosen given Millwall’s aggressive nature.
Heckingbottom also hinted at a change in position for Sander Berge now McAtee is signed. That could well see the Norwegian drop into a deeper midfield role, should Hecky decide that’s what is best.
It will be interesting to see if new signing James McAtee makes the bench. Likewise, who Hecky chooses not to include in the matchday squad. Certainly, there will be some disappointed faces on a weekly basis for United this season.