SHEFFIELD United’s new manager will be asked to build a squad capable of challenging for promotion next season, despite plc chairman Kevin McCabe’s admission that Bramall Lane’s emphasis on youth could delay the club’s return to the Championship.
Although McCabe, who has taken charge of the rebuilding process since returning from his base in Belgium earlier this week, insists United do not want to languish in League One “any longer than is absolutely necessary”, he also concedes the need for root-and-branch reform at first-team level means some short-term pain could be necessary in order to ensure long-term gain.
“We want to get back as quick as possible,” McCabe said. “We want to do it with the right style and the likes of Brighton and Southampton have shown that it can be done. But we will get it right. We will make sure we build a strong platform to move forward, which means it may take a little bit longer than we would want.
“But we do want to get out of this division as soon as possible.”
McCabe began the search for Micky Adams’ successor after parting company with the 49-year-old on Tuesday.
A lifelong United supporter, Adams became the club’s fourth manager of the 2010/11 campaign when he was appointed in December but paid the ultimate price for failing to save them from relegation.
With instability both on and off the pitch contributing to United’s difficulties of late, McCabe is adamant the former Coventry and Leicester chief’s replacement must be given the time to build strong relationships at academy and development squad level.
Finances dictate that Jordan Slew, Harry Maguire and Terry Kennedy, who are expected to start Tuesday’s home leg of United’s FA Youth Cup final against their namesakes from Manchester, will enjoy prominent roles next term.
“We want to blend youngsters, senior pros and a good style of football,” said McCabe.
“There is a clear remit.”