Relief at Lane as stars return unscathed

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SHEFFIELD United’s preparations for Monday’s visit to Queens Park Rangers have gathered pace after Ched Evans, Daniel Bogdanovic and Bjorn Helge Riise all received a clean bill of health after returning to Shirecliffe following international duty.

Manager Micky Adams said: “It’s great to have the lads back. None of them have got a knock and they’ve all trained with the rest of the squad.

“Now we can all look forward to having a good week on the training ground together ahead of what is going to be a big game.”

Goalkeeper George Long has been selected in the England Under-18 squad which travels to Italy next month. Joe Ironside, who scored the winning goal in United’s FA Youth Cup semi-final first leg tie at Aston Villa, is on stand-by for the friendly in Capri.

Plymouth Argyle’s Curtis Nelson is the other debutant in coach Noel Blake’s squad.

The former Portsmouth defender also took charge of the U-19s side which faced Holland in a development match yesterday. United striker Jordan Slew travelled to Putten following Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s withdrawal.

“We have to look at different players and see what they can do,” said Blake.

“This is a development team and we need to keep tabs on everyone from the way they’re playing with their clubs, their behaviour and the whole package.”

Slew made his first appearance at U-19 level as a second-half substitute during the recent defeat by Germany at Chesterfield’s B2net Stadium.

Blake added: “There are players who were with us for the last game who weren’t with us here because we know what they can all do. There is a lot of depth in the 1992 and 1993 age group so we want to have a look at a few different people.”

George Willis travelled with the U-16s for tonight’s Victory Shield decider with Scotland at Morecambe.

Long, Slew and Ironside were all members of the United academy team which drew 1-1 with Wolves last weekend.

Captain Elliott Whitehouse equalised after Jake Kempton had fired Wolves into an early lead at Compton Park. Slew later spurned two good opportunities as John Pemberton’s side warmed up for the second-leg of their meeting with Villa at Bramall Lane next week.