Sheffield United: Blades forced to revise training schedule ahead of Chelsea clash
After an injury to Kean Bryan forced them to abandon the strategy of pre-planned substitutions they had devised ahead of Tuesday's Carabao Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers, Chris Wilder has changed Sheffield United's training schedule ahead of this weekend's visit to Chelsea.
Although Oli McBurnie was deliberately withdrawn at half-time - the centre-forward is expected to start at Stamford Bridge - Oliver Norwood played for over an hour despite also being scheduled to sit-out the second-half.
With United's coaching staff preparing for a physically demanding encounter at Stamford Bridge, Wilder said: "He'll be fine, we'll adjust the recovery day and they'll be ready to go. They'll have to be, because it's Chelsea, it's Saturday and it's Premier League football."
With Enda Stevens - another certain starter in west London - forced to abandon his night-off when Bryan departed with an ankle problem, Wilder added: "They'll be fine, we'll just tweak things a little bit. Ollie played for longer than we'd envisaged but it happens and we'll take care of it."
Despite increasing the workload on Stevens and Norwood, Bryan's early exit was an even bigger blow for the 22-year-old himself. Signed from Manchester City last summer, Bryan's first season in South Yorkshire was disrupted by injury and illness. But after featuring regularly during pre-season, he recently outlined plans to launch a serious challenge for a place in Wilder's matchday squad.
"That's Kean, he just sees a ball and he goes for it," the United manager said, explaining Bryan was unable to continue after falling awkwardly. "I actually think he could have left it but that's not to way the lad goes about things. He's determined, which is good, to always try and win the ball."