Sheffield United: Blades will treat the JPT with respect

Sheffield United manager David Weir
Sheffield United manager David Weir
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David Weir is adamant that Sheffield United will treat the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with “complete respect” ahead of tomorrow’s first round tie at Scunthorpe.

Weir, who could hand debuts to new signings Florent Cuvelier and Harry Bunn, acknowledged the visitors are set to make “several changes” to the squad beaten by MK Dons last weekend. But he insisted that should not be interpreted as a slight against the tournament’s reputation.

“We want to create a winning mentality here,” Weir, the United manager, said. “So of course we are going there with the intention of doing well.

“Yes, there will probably be a few new faces coming in. Ideally, there are a few players we’d like to have given a rest but there’s only so much we can do in that regard.”

Competition rules limit Weir’s room for manoeuvre in terms of selection with financial punishments meted-out to those who fail to comply.

With George Long reporting for international duty with England’s under-21’s following the meeting with Karl Robinson’s side, Mark Howard will start in goal while Callum McFadzean could be handed prominent role. Febian Brandy is suspended.

Weir’s preparations have been complicated by the fact that United “picked-up a few knocks” during their contest with the Dons.

“There’s nothing major in terms of injuries,” he said. “But there are a few who might be touch and go. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Bunn joined Cuvelier at Bramall Lane this morning after completing a youth loan from Manchester City.

“It is an opportunity to have a look at a good, young player,” Weir continued. “He is arriving on the back of an injury but this is a chance to assess him and he offers us striking options.”

Scunthorpe, meanwhile, will be without Chris Iwelumo for the first round tie after the striker sustained a knock in training.

“There’s certainly nothing to worry about,” said manager Brian Laws. “Obviously we made sure we checked it out and we had it scanned.”