Sheffield United: Model pro is Lane captain by example

United 'physio Ritson Llloyd helps captain Michael Doyle off the pitch during their victory over Notts County. Picture: Martyn Harrison.
United 'physio Ritson Llloyd helps captain Michael Doyle off the pitch during their victory over Notts County. Picture: Martyn Harrison.
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David Weir, the Sheffield United manager, has shed further light on his decision to retain Michael Doyle as captain.

Weir, who confirmed the former Republic of Ireland international would keep the armband ahead of Friday’s League One opener against Notts County, has made a number of adjustments since being appointed two months ago.

But, despite casting a forensic eye over the reasons behind United’s failure to gain promotion last term, he elected not to interere with the balance of power behind the scenes.

“Michael was a stand-out candidate for me,” Weir told The Star. “For a number of different reasons.

“He has done everything we’ve asked of him during pre-season and is an absolutely model professional around the dressing room too.

“On top of all of that, he’s a good player, respected by his peers, who knows this division inside out.

“So if, after deciding that, I’d taken it away from him then it would have been a real slap in the face for Michael.

“He was in possession of it and there was absolutely no reason to change.”

Weir also proved an astute dressing-room politician when he captained Rangers towards the end of a career which spawned 11 medals, 69 Scotland caps and encompassed four different clubs.

Described as one of the Glasgow giant’s “greatest ever captains” by Ally McCoist, his counterpart at Ibrox, before the victory over County, he added: “Michael not only knows what this level is all about but he’s also played at the highest level too.

“He’s a leader and someone we value here a lot.”

Doyle, though, could be forced to relinquish the position for tomorrow’s home Capital One Cup first round tie against Burton Albion after hobbling off towards the end of last week’s match.

United have yet to divulge the exact details of his injury but they are unlikely to take any risks ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Brentford.

Conor Coady, the on-loan Liverpool youngster, is expected to replace Doyle against Albion, while fellow new signings Lyle Taylor and Sean McGinty could also make their full debuts.

“I want things to be all about the squad,” Weir said. “We decided to concentrate on quality rather than numbers.

“We’d much rather work with a smaller group of players because then everyone is involved.”