Sheffield United: Blades boss refuses to let his players take it easy during the week

George Baldock has returned to training: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
George Baldock has returned to training: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Chris Wilder has brushed aside suggestions Sheffield United should tone down their exacting training sessions after insisting his squad is in good shape for today’s Championship opener against Brentford.

Ched Evans, James Hanson and George Baldock could all be available for selection despite missing much of pre-season due to injury.

But Wilder, confirming Jamal Blackman will start in goal after Simon Moore underwent a knee operation earlier this week, said: We are a competitive group from Monday to Friday, not just during games. So, because of that, you’re bound to pick up a few knocks.”

Brentford are without Sergi Canos for the visit to Bramall Lane while captain Harlee Dean is suspended. Manager Dean Smith is also waiting to learn if Ryan Wood will be free to play after being granted time-off to attend to birth of his child.

“Woods may also miss the game with his partner due to give birth and the midfielder will, naturally, be allowed time off if the call came,” Smith explained last night. “She hasn’t given birth yet. If the call comes then you deal with it. It’s the most important thing for any young father’s life so I’ll never stop that and we would have enough quality in the squad to adapt.”

Simon Moore is recovering from an operation: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Simon Moore is recovering from an operation: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Ched Evans could feature against Brentford: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Ched Evans could feature against Brentford: Simon Bellis/Sportimage