Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, spoke with goalkeeper Simon Moore before recalling Jamal Blackman to his starting eleven.
Blackman returned to action during last week’s game against Burton Albion after recovering from the back injury which forced him to miss the win over Hull City earlier this month.
Despite admitting he had contemplated selecting Moore for the meeting with Nigel Clough’s side, Wilder revealed the speed of Blackman’s recovery, combined with the 24-year-old’s performances during the opening 15 matches of the campaign, had influenced his decision.
“We talked about it,” Wilder told The Star. “He was out for one game. If he’s been out for three or four, that might have been a different scenario, a different situation.
“I spoke to Simon and asked him how he would feel if he got left out in the same circumstances? Simon knows there’s great competition here, Jamal knows there’s great competition here.”
United briefly climbed to the top of the Championship table after beating Albion 3-1 on Friday night. Billy Sharp scored twice before a late effort from Leon Clarke ended the hosts’ spirited resistance. Although Matty Palmer had briefly drawn Clough’s men level following Sharp’s early penalty, Wilder absolved Blackman of any responsibility, describing Albion’s equaliser as “unstoppable.”
“I thought he played great,” Wilder said. “He came for things, his kicking was excellent and he was positive throughout. “He came through a little test because there was a little bit of pressure on him,” Wilder added. “Now he’s got to show I made the right decision.”
Moore, a mainstay of the team that lifted last season’s League One title, also lost his place due to injury after falling awkwardly during a summer friendly at Rotherham. Despite privately hoping that would persuade Wilder to retain his services in Staffordshire, Moore can console himself with the knowledge he is likely to benefit from the same loyalty if coaching staff decide a change is necessary later this term.