Manager Nigel Adkins has admitted he is prepared to rotate his Sheffield United squad to cope with a demanding fixture schedule in the coming weeks.
United, who reached the second round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday evening after beating Morecambe 1-0, return to League One action this weekend when they face local rivals Chesterfield at Bramall Lane.
And Adkins, speaking after Neill Collins’ header secured victory at the Globe Arena, said: “I was always going to make changes for the cup game.
“We have a squad of players who need to play football, so it was a good chance to give the likes of Marc McNulty and James Wallace 90 minutes on the pitch.
“We have a busy run of fixtures coming up, and we’ve just got through in the cup so that’s another midweek game to fit in.
“To be able to cope, we need a squad of players who are fresh, ready, up to the pace and ready to go out there and compete.”
Adkins, who reckons most of his squad are in with a chance of starting against Dean Saunders’ Spireites, could be without Jose Baxter this weekend after he picked up a knock in United’s opening day defeat at Gillingham.
Baxter subsequently missed the trip to Morecambe, and Adkins revealed: “He’s still sore.
“He’s not travelled with us to Morecambe, and we’ll assess him over the next 48 hours and see how he settles down. But it was pleasing to give James 90 minutes on the field.”
Meanwhile, United are offering Blades fans the chance to play on the Bramall Lane turf - and raise cash for charity at the same time.
United’s home ground is the venue for the FA(KE) Cup, which will be contested by fans of United and Wednesday in October.
Fans, of either side, can seal their place in the team by pledging to raise £1,000 for young people’s charity, Brathay Trust.
Chris Morgan will captain the United side, with Tony Currie acting as manager and Howard Webb, the 2010 World Cup final referee, overseeing proceedings.
For details, or to sign up, visit www.mastercutlerschallenge2015.co.uk/fake-cup.
A shorter match, prior to the main event, will give children aged between 11 and 13 the chance to grace the Bramall Lane turf.
Mal Brannigan, United’s managing director, said: “This match will not only be a great way to raise much needed funds for the young people of Sheffield, but will also be a really positive event for the community.
“Both clubs and I hope that it will bring both sets of fans together to have fun and play a great game of football.”