Sheffield United: Bob eyes an extended deal

Bob Harris would be interested in extending his loan at Bramall Lane � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Bob Harris would be interested in extending his loan at Bramall Lane � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Bob Harris, Sheffield United’s on-loan defender, has told Blackpool he wants to remain at Bramall Lane until the end of the season providing it suits all three parties involved in the move, writes James Shield.

Harris, whose initial agreement with Nigel Clough’s side expires next month, made the admission after revealing he approached the subject with Barry Ferguson, the Championship club’s caretaker manager, after leaving Bloomfield Road.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s League One fixture against Peterborough, the 26-year-old said: “My aim is to play football regularly, wherever that might be.

“To begin with, I’m here for 28 days but, ideally, I’d like that to continue if everyone is okay with the idea. I’ve already spoken about that with Barry and he understands where I’m coming from so hopefully I’ll impress the boss here and get myself in the team.

“There’s only a short window for me to do that. So I have to make sure I use every minute of my time wisely.”

Harris made his United debut as a second-half substitute during Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Fulham; 48 hours after a deal which seemed destined to collapse following Paul Ince’s sacking was resurrected when Tony McMahon joined Blackpool as part of a reciprocal arrangement.

“We weren’t looking to move Tony out,” Clough confirmed during yesterday’s pre-match media briefing. “But when, having seen things with Bob fall through, they came back and put this plan to us, we decided to go ahead.”

The Star understands preliminary negotiations between United and Bloomfield Road have already taken place with Ferguson, Harris’ close friend and confidant, unlikely to scupper his compatriot’s first team aspirations.

“Barry and I signed for Blackpool on the same day and so to begin with we got a place together,” Harris said. “Coming down from Scotland was a big thing for me - it was the first time I’d lived away from home - but Barry really looked after me.

“He’s a big name back home because of what he achieved for Rangers and also at international level. So I always listen to his advice because he’s been a massive help.”

“I was sat in the office at Blackpool with the paperwork for the loan right in front of me when the news about Incey came through,” Harris added. “So, straight away, it was taken back off me again but the important thing is I’m here now.”

The arrival of Harris, who despite describing himself as a “natural left-back” can operate across the back four, swells the number of Scottish players on United’s squad list to six with Stefan Scougall, the former Livingston midfielder, completing a transfer potentially worth up to £400,000 from Almondvale Stadium last week.

“Stefan is fearless,” Clough, reflecting on Scougall’s performance against Fulham, said. “He’s excellent on the ball like Jose (Baxter) and showed his slight frame won’t restrict him at this level.”

Echoing those sentiments, Harris said: “There’s definitely a lot of talent up there, providing people take the time to look. Getting Stefan is a really big coup for this club because he was so highly-regarded by a lot of really good judges in Scotland.

“But you’ve only got to see how good people like Jamie (Murphy) and Ryan (Flynn) are to understand that too.”