Could Jack O'Connell be set for a Sheffield United return against Arsenal?
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, hopes to welcome back defender Jack O’Connell for this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal.
The influential defender has been a notable absentee from United’s teamsheet since the season restarted, after suffering a ‘contact’ injury in training from a collision with goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
Although Jack Robinson has performed admirably in his fellow Liverpudlain’s absence, O’Connell is a key part of Wilder’s gameplan, both defensively and offensively, and his availability would give United a big boost as they look to book an FA Cup semi-final slot by beating Mikel Arteta’s Gunners at Bramall Lane.
“We’ll have Dean back on Sunday, and John [Egan],” Wilder confirmed after Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford.
“They’ve been two big players for us this season and Jack O’Connell is another big player. Hopefully he’ll be back for the weekend. There’s a couple who need to find their form, and aren’t producing the form they were pre-lockdown.
“We need them to find it pretty quickly.”
United are still eighth in the table and return to Premier League action next Thursday, when they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Bramall Lane.
"We have no time on the training ground to right the wrongs," Wilder added.
"The key to us being at our best and reacting to disappointment has been our hard work on the training ground and really ironing out and recognising the faults and analysing the game to make sure that, come the next game, we are better.
"We have not got that ability to and I have got to find another way."