Chris Wilder has admitted his transfer dealings are designed to ensure Sheffield United have the tactical flexibility required to keep opponents guessing.
Wilder, who warned United’s rivals are now devising plans to stifle their 3-5-2 formation, claimed it would be “arrogant” to think the league leaders will not face increasing resistance as they bid to cement a top two spot.
“Teams might try and work us out, and if they do stop us, we have to be ready - tactically clued in - and have players who can play different positions,” he said.
“That’s what we are trying to do, have enough players for different formations and systems. We have started with a shape for quite a while now, but are not scared to change it and start with something different.”
Wilder, who has allowed Reece Brown and James Wallace to leave Bramall Lane as part of his mid-season makeover, added: “It would be arrogant of me, and I won’t do it, to think we won’t be challenged by other teams.
Southend changed their shape against us recently. We have to be ready and not scared to change our shape from the start and during the game itself.”
With Samir Carruthers and Daniel Lafferty joining United earlier this month and Wolverhampton Wanderers confirming they will be triggering a release clause in Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s loan, Wilder has turned his attention towards securing cover for Brown and the injured Harry Chapman.
“We are looking in a few areas,” he said. ”People who can give us that protection.”