Sheffield United: Weir pledges to be a ‘tracksuit’ manager

Suited and booted here, but David Weir  is ready to get his hands dirty on the training ground after taking charge of Sheffield United last week
Suited and booted here, but David Weir is ready to get his hands dirty on the training ground after taking charge of Sheffield United last week
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His first appearance as Sheffield United manager saw David Weir don an immaculately tailored suit, writes James Shield.

But nine days after his Bramall Lane coronation, the former Scotland, Glasgow Rangers and Everton defender has revealed he will swap shirt sleeves for sweat pants when preparations for the new League One campaign begin in earnest next week.

Weir, speaking publicly for the first time since being unveiled as Danny Wilson’s successor, outlined plans to become a hands-on presence at Shirecliffe rather than run things from afar.

“First and foremost I want to be a coach and a manager,” he said. “I’ll definitely be getting involved on the training pitch because that’s what I enjoy and I also think is vitally important.

“My aim, my philosophy as it were, is all about trying to improve players. Making sure they achieve their potential and also helping them to get better as well.

“By being in and amongst it on a daily basis there is no margin for error. There’s no chance that anything can get lost in translation.

“So I’ll be out there on the pitches with the squad and making sure everything is clear in terms of what we are aiming for regarding tactics, hard work and shape.”

Weir, who made exactly 500 appearances for Everton and Rangers before serving his coaching apprenticeship at Goodison Park, confirmed talks aimed at building United’s backroom staff have now reached an advanced stage.

“I’m looking to bring in a fitness and conditioning ‘man’ and also a ‘football’ man,” he said. “They won’t be doing mutually exclusive jobs because, these days, I’m of the opinion that the two areas overlap.

“Due to the time of year, my priority, although that’s probably the wrong word, is the conditioner. If I’d come in midway through the season it would be the other way around.

“That’s the structure I’m looking at.”

“I’m someone who is ready to listen and take on board other people’s thoughts,” Weir added. “I want them to contribute and I’ll draw on the advice at my disposal but ultimately I’m the manager and it’s my responsibility to take decisions about the team and the like.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1