Blades: Sven’s squad is bursting with Premier talent

Prospect: Premier League Patrick Van Aanholt, left, could make his Leicester debut at Bramall Lane after arriving on loan from Chelsea.
Prospect: Premier League Patrick Van Aanholt, left, could make his Leicester debut at Bramall Lane after arriving on loan from Chelsea.
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Little wonder with four players, including Patrick Aanholt and Yakubu Aiyegbeni, arriving at The Walkers Stadium on loan from top-flight clubs with the suggestion of more to follow.

“You can tell by the players coming in that the owners are prepared to put their money where their mouth is so to speak,” Gallagher, whose involvement against Sheffield United this evening has been placed in jeopardy by injury, said.

“We are going to go for it in the last 18 games and I can’t see why not.

“We’ve got a really good bunch of players, everyone is desperate to do well and there is only one place where we all want to go.”

With just six points and five places separating Leicester from the play-off positions, Gallagher’s enthusiasm about what the future might hold is understandable.

United’s ambitions, for the next four months at least, are limited solely to survival.

But admitting developments at Bramall Lane have been hard to fathom, Richie Wellens has warned his team mate that Micky Adams’ side still pose a threat to the visitors’ four-match unbeaten run in Championship competition.

The former Doncaster Rovers midfielder attributes United’s perilous position to events off the pitch, which recently saw Adams become their third permanent manager of the season, rather than a dearth of quality on it.

“They are a big club and if you look at their players on paper then there is no way they should be down where they are,” Wellens said.

“I’m sure they are going to turn it around but we need to go there and make sure that, for the time being, they remain in crisis.

“I think it is difficult when you have a manager like Kevin Blackwell who has his own style. Everyone knows they were a long-ball team and then he goes and signs Leon Britton. which was strange.

“Now, I think they’re in transition where they’ve gone from a long-ball game and want to change. I would imagine that Gary Speed would have wanted them to play football so it’s difficult when you change the style of play, as we have found out ourselves.

“But Micky Adams is a good manager and, although he’s got a big job on there, I think they should get out of trouble.”

Adams, who was still in charge of Port Vale when these two rivals drew 2-2 in the Midlands earlier this term, has no time for such sentiments and has warned United, who have won just three times since, that reputation counts for nothing in the battle to avoid relegation.

Derek Fazackerley, Eriksson’s assistant, warned yesterday that could provoke a response.

“The game at Sheffield is going to be a difficult challenge,” he said.

“It’s always a danger when you go somewhere where they have recently appointed a new manager.

“Sheffield will be no different.

“They’re a club with aspirations to be higher up the table and they’ll be fighting for their lives.

“So we’ve got to be mentally, physically and tactically prepared which we will be.”

Van Aanholt, Chelsea’s prodigiously talented youngster, featured on United’s wanted list before the managerial merry-go-round cranked into life.

His rampaging runs down the flank mean the 20-year-old is likely to prove as much of a handful to Adams’ defence as Everton’s Yakubu who, according to Wellens, is simply “too good” to be plying his trade in this division.

“I’d say he is far too good,” Wellens said. He’s quicker than I thought and if you give him the ball then he’ll keep it because he’s actually very strong.

“If you look at the goals he’s scored for us so far he hasn’t just lashed the ball into the net. He’s passed them into the bottom corner.

“But the key thing is that he’s been at this level before with Portsmouth so he also knows what this division is all about. What it takes.”

Meanwhile, United have announced they will be holding soccer camps at Shirecliffe, Tideswell and Crookes later this month. Prices start from £10 per day and block booking discounts are also available. For details contact 0871 663 2432 (Shirecliffe) or 01142 929 402 (Tideswell and Crookes).