KEVIN McDonald has been told he must inject some magic into Sheffield United’s midfield to earn a permanent contract at Bramall Lane.
Danny Wilson, the League One club’s manager, made the admission ahead of tomorrow’s final pre-season friendly against Blackpool.
McDonald, a free agent after being released by Burnley, appeared as a second-half substitute during the midweek defeat by Doncaster Rovers and, together with fellow trialist Alex Kruk, is set to enjoy another outing when United host Ian Holloway’s side. Kick-off is at 3pm.
Wilson said: “We’ve got a lot of similar players in that area of the team so I want to see Kevin show his range of passing.
“We’ve got lads who can mix things up physically in there so what he’s got to do is stand out with the quality of his passes.
“Kevin did well against Doncaster but I want to see more from him in terms of being positive and penetrating rather than just going for a safety-first ball. But that goes for the whole team – not just Kevin – because if you don’t take risks then you don’t get anything in this business.”
Wilson, who is set to inform McDonald and Kruk if they will be offered deals after Blackpool’s visit, added: “Kevin is a cracking lad who is desperate to play for Sheffield United.”
Admitting that central defence and “possibly another striker” are now his top priorities in the transfer market, Wilson is also keen to draft-in a new goalkeeper.
Matt Duke, a life-long United supporter, has been invited back for a second spell following a brief stint spent with Rochdale.
Describing George Long, one of the stars of United’s march into the 2010 FA Youth Cup final, as ‘an absolutely terrific prospect’, Wilson still believes the present incumbent, Steve Simonsen, would benefit from more experienced competition.
“Matt is back with us and, I’ve got to say, has done ever so well,” Wilson said.
“I know he’s a fan of this club but sympathies like that don’t come into it.
“He has to show that he’s the right person.”
n Blades: P43