Sheffield United: George is in it for the Long haul

George Long of Sheffield Utd applauds the fans during the Sky Bet League One match at The Bramall Lane Stadium.  Photo credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage 
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Sport Image
15/16 CONT Sheff Utd v Walsall

02 April 2016
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved
George Long of Sheffield Utd applauds the fans during the Sky Bet League One match at The Bramall Lane Stadium. Photo credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage -------------------- Sport Image 15/16 CONT Sheff Utd v Walsall 02 April 2016 �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Sheffield United are expected to offer George Long a new long-term contract as part of their summer rebuilding plans.

Long, a former England under-20 international, has started United’s last 29 games after replacing Mark Howard as Nigel Adkins’ preferred option between the posts earlier this season.

George Long has matured as a goalkeeper this season 
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

George Long has matured as a goalkeeper this season �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Although the youngster’s present contract is thought to expire in June, officials at Bramall Lane are believed to have already begun negotiations aimed at tieing him to Bramall Lane for the foreseeable future following a series of impressive displays of late.

Although Adkins has previously insisted that talks with players must “remain private and behind closed doors”, the United manager recently claimed Long boasts “all the attributes required” to become a “truly top class goalkeeper” in the future.

The 22-year-old has also been a driving force behind a series of improved displays at Bramall Lane of late although, speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit to Chesterfield, he conceded United face an uphill struggle to reach the League One play-offs after being held to a 0-0 draw by Gillingham last weekend.

“If we’d played like that all season, I think we’d be in there,” Long said. “But what’s happened earlier this season has gone now and all we can focus on is the next couple of games, trying to play the same way and trying to win. “Then, we’ll see where it takes us. All we can do is take it game by game because, more often than not, that level of performance will get you a win.”

Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins (left) rates George Long highly 
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins (left) rates George Long highly �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

Long, a graduate of United’s Steelphalt Academy, made his senior debut against Swansea City in 2011 and has previously represented Motherwell on loan.

George Long is set to make his 30th consecutive start for Sheffield United this weekend 
�2016 Sport Image all rights reserved

George Long is set to make his 30th consecutive start for Sheffield United this weekend �2016 Sport Image all rights reserved