Sheffield United: Long wait set to end for goalkeeper

George Long is in line to play at The Shay after recovering from injury
George Long is in line to play at The Shay after recovering from injury
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George Long is expected to play his first game under new Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder tonight.

The former England youth international has missed both of United’s friendlies - against Stocksbridge Park Steels and a Murcia Representative XI - following Wilder’s appointment in May.

But after his injured foot responded well to treatment during last week’s training camp at La Manga, Wilder is poised to name Long in the squad which visits FC Halifax Town tonight. (Kick-off 7.45pm).

“George trained all week but he couldn’t kick a ball 100 per cent,” Wilder said. “So we didn’t play him (against Murcia) and concentrated on getting him ready for this one instead.

“He probably could have played in Spain but we didn’t think, all things considered, that there was anything to be gained from taking the risk. But he should be okay for this one.”

Matt Done travels to The Shay searching for his fifth goal in three pre-season outings while Stefan Scougall, who had been set to leave Bramall Lane before Wilder’s appointment, has also impressed United’s coaching staff alongside the transfer listed Kieron Freeman and Paul Coutts.

George Long has not been able to kick a ball "100 per cent" according to Chris Wilder but underwent treatment in Spain

George Long has not been able to kick a ball "100 per cent" according to Chris Wilder but underwent treatment in Spain

“We learned a few things about everybody out there in Spain,” Wilder said. “Some new things about certain people and reaffirmed a few things about others.

“I’ve got to say, Scouggs has been on fire,. He’s been brilliant, he really has. Matty has obviously been doing what he’s been doing as well. And, I’ve got to say, the likes of Couttsy deserve a mention. Kieron Freeman too. All of the new lads have really settled in so that’s great.”

FC Halifax finished 21st in the National League last term and their manager Billy Heath said: Heath said: “It’ll be different because we’ve dominated all the games so far.”

George Long trained during United's trip to La Manga but did not face Murcia

George Long trained during United's trip to La Manga but did not face Murcia