Lane chief’s praise for young defenders

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SHEFFIELD United manager Micky Adams insists his determination to recruit a new centre-half should not be interpreted as a lack of confidence in the club’s present back four.

The Championship club, who could drop into the relegation zone depending upon results at Crystal Palace and Scunthorpe tomorrow, have made an experienced defender their top priority despite capturing West Bromwich Albion’s Joe Mattock and Shane Lowry of Aston Villa on loan.

Goalkeeper Steve Simonsen apart, 22-year-old Elian Parrino has been the oldest member of United’s rearguard in recent weeks.

But Adams said: “The lads in there have done ever so well. Their attitude has been excellent.

“They’ve thrown themselves in the way of the ball when that’s been required and they’ve put their bodies on the line.

“In this division people always try and exploit your weaknesses but they’ve stood-up to be counted.

“That attitude has really impressed me.”

However, with United languishing 21st in the table and captain Chris Morgan ruled out for the rest of the campaign, Adams believes the more leaders his squad possess the better.

Michael Doyle, the midfielder signed from Coventry this week, is in that bracket.

Meanwhile, United have confirmed Dave McCarthy’s appointment as their new head of operations. McCarthy, who managed Sheffield FC before moving to Bramall Lane, previously held key positions with sister clubs Ferencvaros and Chengdu Blades.