Sheffield United: Blades boss considering changes for FA Cup first-round tie

Kieron Freeman of Sheffield Utd tackled by Ryan Colclough of MK Dons
Kieron Freeman of Sheffield Utd tackled by Ryan Colclough of MK Dons
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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has hinted he will consider making changes for his side’s FA Cup first-round tie against Leyton Orient on Sunday.

United take a break from League One competition having established an 11-game unbeaten run, and first face League Two side Orient at Bramall Lane before turning their attentions to Tuesday’s trip to Grimsby - which brings the curtain down on a wholly unforgettable Checkatrade Trophy campaign.

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Kieron Freeman, who has played in each of United’s 14 games since his recall to the side at Millwall back in August - many in the physically demanding wing-back position - is one player likely to be rested, while Paul Coutts may be spared from duty after an almost-identical run of games.

“It’s certainly something we’ll look at,” Wilder confirmed.

“We’ve talked a lot about it, especially going into January, as our schedule is quite punishing at times; we have a lot of Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday weeks.

“We’ve had two tough games recently, against Bradford and MK Dons, and to win four points was a great effort. But it’ll have took its toll too and I’ll change the team if needs be.

“But what needs to happen is we need to have a continuity in selection, so we get that consistent performance no matter who plays.

“But yes, we might have to look at a couple to come out for a game, and we’ll expect others to go in and perform; as Stefan Scougall has done recently, and the likes of Caolan Lavery have done coming off the bench, too.”