MANAGER Micky Adams is determined to tighten up Sheffield United's leaky defence in the club's quest to move away from the lower reaches of the Championship table.
Having watched his team concede nine goals in his first three matches in charge since succeeding Gary Speed at the helm, Adams is acutely aware of the area he needs to rectify to pull the club away from the danger zone.
Individual errors and lapses in concentration at the back have repeatedly cost United, who have shipped in an alarming 41 goals in 25 league outings.
"We can't keep presenting opportunities to the opposition like we are doing," Adams told The Star. "Defending and attacking are about doing it in unison.
"We need to get everyone on the training ground to work at both areas."
A new centre-half is believed to be at the top of Adams' shopping list in January as he aims to address the club's defensive frailties.
United have not kept a clean sheet or won a match since the 1-0 triumph over Swansea at Bramall Lane almost a month ago.
Adams, a boyhood United fan, added: "It is just a case of working hard with the players and trying to make them better."
The former Port Vale chief is poised to welcome Stephen Quinn back into the fray when United travel to Coventry on Saturday. Quinn has served his three-match suspension following his dismissal in the 4-2 defeat at Norwich.
Matt Lowton may also be included in the travelling party to face the Sky Blues, with the versatile defender on the mend from a groin injury.
Adams, searching for his first victory since agreeing to become United's third manager of the season, is closely monitoring Lee Williamson's fitness. The former Rotherham player, who has only recently returned from a long-term back injury, was taken off with 15 minutes remaining of the FA Cup defeat to Aston Villa due to a slight groin niggle.
"He's been fit enough to play the last three fixtures and has been fantastic in terms of what he gives, but we've got to be very careful of the workload he's taking on," said Adams. "We have tried to nurse him through what has been quite a hectic programme.
"A fit Lee Williamson finally over his problems and without niggles would be a big bonus."
Meanwhile, Doncaster Rovers have boosted their defensive options by signing former Blades star Matthew Kilgallon. The 27 year-old centre-back, who played over 100 matches at Bramall Lane after being purchased from Leeds United, has joined Rovers on loan from Sunderland until the end of the season.
Got a view? Leave a comment below.
CLICK HERE FOR The Star subscription offer. Use offer code STAOP0001 to get 25% off.
Follow The Star on Twitter and Facebook:
For breaking news and sport follow The Star on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sheffieldstar and Facebook at www.facebook.com/sheffieldstar.
JOIN THE STAR READER PANEL: The Star is YOUR newspaper, so tell us what you think about it and what you want to see - CLICK HERE.
Don't miss our daily pull-outs - only in the The Star: Monday Star Sport, Tuesday Class Act; Wednesday Business; Thursday Grassroots; Friday Time Out; Saturday Retro. Subscribe to The Star - CLICK HERE
Subscribe to The Star or Green 'Un
Visit our Matchday Centre for free live coverage of every match
ASHES GUIDE: View our FREE Ashes webmag guide online - CLICK HERE.
Football headlines. Football gossip. Blades news Owls news Reds news. Millers news. More rugby. More boxing. Sports columnists.
All sport categories
Watch Premiership highlights, international football, golf, tennis, darts and much more - click here