Ivo Grbic's Sheffield United future addressed as Chris Wilder faces Man Utd decision

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Sheffield United goalkeeper under the spotlight after another unconvincing display in Burnley hammering

Chris Wilder has admitted he and his Sheffield United coaching staff are facing “tough decisions” ahead of Wednesday night’s trip to Manchester United, with the position of goalkeeper Ivo Grbic one of those under scrutiny. The Croatian international had another unconvincing afternoon on Saturday against Burnley, leading to further question marks about his place.

The goalkeeper has not enjoyed a good start to life at Bramall Lane since joining from Atletico Madrid in January, with Wilder publicly proclaiming him as his new No.1 goalkeeper amid uncertainty over Wes Foderingham’s future. But Wilder’s backing of Grbic could be tested on Wednesday night when United travel to Old Trafford, with Foderingham potentially on standby to be recalled against Erik ten Hag’s side.

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Wilder has not yet spoken to Grbic this week after his concession of two deflected strikes put Burnley in cruise control at Bramall Lane, on their way to a 4-1 victory that led the Blades chief to admit that his side were on their way back to the Championship. “We, as a coaching staff, have had our heads down in terms of a game plan and selection,” Wilder said. “There are some big decision on a lot of key positions.

“Regarding Ivo, there was talk of making a substitution at half time from some of the support and I could have subbed some more players but I thought I'd give them the opportunity to make it right. I don't like making those decisions, although I have before and I will if I have to. We have to look at the set up of the team and analyse everything and make sure we do our jobs, as coaches and managers, to put the best players in their best positions and pick the right team, and look at things from a mentality point of view. I thought a couple of players took the easy way out, and I didn't like that.”

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Grbic signed a contract until the summer of 2027 when he arrived in January in a £2m deal, but conceded five on his first United game against Brighton and suffered concussion in his second, at Crystal Palace. His error at Liverpool saw the home side gifted the lead on their way to a 3-1 victory, before further question marks were raised after Jacob Bruun Larsen’s shot deflected off Jayden Bogle and trickled past him for the Burnley opener.

Asked if he is still backing Grbic to be a success at Bramall Lane, Wilder replied: “I want them all to do well, given the opportunity. Whatever position they're in, whether they were here before me or it’s Ben Brereton Diaz who we brought in, or Mason Holgate or Ivo. We want them all to be successful. Not just the ones that have come in in January.

“We want everyone to knock on the door and make sure the standard is high. We have tough decisions, I don't want people to make it easy for me. There was no negativity towards Jayden Bogle or Ollie Arblaster [on Saturday] because they played well. Play well and you have a massive opportunity to stay in the team. I'm not going to drop my best players. Just play well, It's pretty simple. There's the club, there’s the shot, just execute it for me and there are no problems. But unfortunately it's easier said than done.”

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