Sheffield United: Chris Wilder won't try to change John Fleck despite threat of a two-match ban
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, will not order John Fleck to curb his natural aggressive instincts - despite the threat of a two match ban hanging over his head.
The Scottish midfielder is expected to line up against Aston Villa tonight with nine bookings against his record this season. Another caution in the next 11 league games will trigger an automatic two-game suspension.
But Wilder, who recruited midfielders Ryan Leonard and Lee Evans earlier this month, insisted: “John will play the game as it is and we have good competition for places in the middle of the park now, so it’s no issue if he is banned.
“John will have to play well anyway to stay in the team, and he’s certainly not going to tip-toe his way through games. And I don’t want him to. If he does, he won’t play.
“It’s as simple as that, and John understands that.
“It’s just about him now managing the game and being sensible. You have to compete and put a foot in, though, and if it happens, it happens.
“If he doesn’t get banned, then it won’t be because he’s not fully committed.”
Meanwhile Wilder yesterday sanctioned Caolan Lavery’s loan move to South Yorkhire neighbours Rotherham United but insisted the striker’s Bramall Lane career was not necessarily over.
The Canadian striker has joined Paul Warne’s League One outfit until the end of the season and Wilder, who hopes to set up similar loan moves for Samir Carruthers and Nathan Thomas, said: “They are only loan deals, if they go and play well then we’ll see what happens in the summer - hopefully either they’ll play well enough to force their way back into our side, or increase their value.
“The door isn’t unbelievably shut for them but the pathway at the moment is blocked.” Blades: P38-39