Sheffield United: On-loan stars receive reassurance

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Andy Crosby, United’s assistant manager, made the pledge after indicating the cull of Nigel Adkins’ first team squad was, in part, motivated by a desire to properly assess the options at the 51-year-old’s disposal.

Adkins is expected to perform a major overhaul of the League One club’s playing staff this term with several established names facing uncertain futures after entering the final stages of their contracts.

But Crosby said: “We’ve got players who are out on loan who will come back and be a part of the group this summer. Players who will come back into the fold and be asked to stake claims, yes.”

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McNulty has impressed since joining Portsmouth earlier this term while Freeman, who also moved to Fratton Park, is fit again after his spell with Paul Cook’s side was interrupted by injury. Scougall recently joined United team mate Bob Harris at Fleetwood Town.

Adkins inherited a roster of over 40 professionals when he took charge in June and Crosby said: “It is only right that, when you come in somewhere, you take a good look at the whole squad and take stock. You have to do that, it wouldn’t be fair or right to do anything else.”

“Having that number, though, wasn’t ideal,” Crosby continued. “Of course it wasn’t. It wasn’t ideal for them (the players) or for us. It’s vitally important that, when you come into work on a Monday morning, you feel that if you do well in training you’ve got a chance of being in the team. Even if you don’t get there, you need to feel like you have that chance.”

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