Sheffield United: Blades adopt a new approach

Sheffield United interim manager Chris Morgan, who wants the job on a permanent basis, gathers the squad together after losing at Yeovil
Sheffield United interim manager Chris Morgan, who wants the job on a permanent basis, gathers the squad together after losing at Yeovil
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Sheffield United’s next manager will be asked to compile a list of potential transfer targets from England’s lower divisions as the South Yorkshire club plots a radical overhaul of its recruitment policy.

The move, coupled with chief executive Julian Winter’s call for “sustainable” business practices behind the scenes, forms part of United’s response to their defeat in last season’s League One play-off semi-finals.

A source told The Star: “Whoever gets the job is going to have to focus their efforts on bringing in the best talent from the bottom two divisions.

“There are lots of good options out there and lots of interesting avenues to explore.

“We’ve seen other teams build strong and effective squads by taking this route.

“Just because someone might not be a household name, it doesn’t mean they don’t have plenty to offer.

“The idea is to bring in hungry footballers who know what it takes to compete at this level.

“Do something a little bit different to what’s happened in the past.”

United, who will press ahead with their search for Danny Wilson’s successor this week, will delay releasing their ‘retained and released’ list until after an appointment is made.

Centre-forward Dave Kitson, defender Danny Higginbotham and midfielder Barry Robson are among those whose short-term contracts are about to expire.

Winter told the region’s media earlier this month that some of United’s highest-earners could be asked to renegotiate their present deals as part of a drive to reduce salary costs at senior level. However, spending on academy and youth team projects has been ring fenced.

Yeovil Town, who nine days ago ended United’s dreams of returning to the Championship next term, are understood to work on a budget of just over £1m per annum. They face Brentford at Wembley this weekend.

“It’s going to be a tough competition with lots of good sides but Sheffield United are still a big draw,” the source added.”There are still lots of players out there who would be interested in joining and we aim to try and make the most of that.

“Nothing is going to be taken for granted but, together with some of the good players that are coming through the ranks, there’s no reason why working smarter can’t produce a strong team.”

*Twitter: JamesShield1