Sheffield United face Wigan Athletic on Monday evening and Paul Heckingbottom has revealed some good news on the injury front for once.
The Blades returned from the World Cup break with a solid 1-0 win over Huddersfield. Billy Sharp’s goal was enough to give United a big three points and keep pace with Burnley at the top.
For manager Heckingbottom, the World Cup break has come at a good time. A number of big injuries threatened to derail the promotion push at one point. But having battled through it and remaining in the top two, United now have a big chance to kick on.
And speaking to the press ahead of Wigan, Heckingbottom revealed he managed to get a full 90 minutes into the legs of a few first-team players in a Sheffield United v Leicester friendly this week.
“We had Tommy play an hour, Sander 70-odd, Jebbo an hour, Robbo an hour. Jayden, Lowey and Bash another 90, so we had a lot of players coming back and playing games.
“It’s always good when the likes of Davo (Adam Davies) get some minutes as well cos we know Wes has been playing well and getting lots of minutes,” Heckingbottom said in his pre-match presser.
United received further good news yesterday when Oli McBurnie was found not guilty in his court case. The big striker is now free to play against the Latics having undergone surgery a few weeks ago.
Sheff U News View: Sheffield United v Leicester friendly pays off for Hecky
It would have just summed this season up if United had picked up an injury in the friendly v Leicester. But for once, it looks like we’ve come out of a game with a clean bill of health.
For Heckingbottom, getting minutes into those key players is massive. The Christmas period is always so hectic that those players are likely to be needed. Lowe, Bogle and Basham are all more than capable of stepping into the first XI.
Likewise, players like Berge and Doyle will be vital and likely starters as well. Daniel Jebbison returning is an interesting one as well. The young striker will want to try and push the likes of Sharp and McBurnie. However, as we wrote yesterday, a January loan move might well beckon as well.