Sheffield United: International manager believes The Blades will do well in the Premier League and explains why

A leading international manager has backed Sheffield United to win their battle for Premier League survival, thanks to the pioneering tactics Chris Wilder's team employs.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 1:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 10:17 pm
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy thinks they will do well: Simon Galloway/PA Wire.
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy thinks they will do well: Simon Galloway/PA Wire.

Mick McCarthy, whose Republic of Ireland squad return to Euro 2020 qualifying action next month, delivered his prediction after selecting four members of the team which gained promotion from the Championship last term for the ties against Denmark and Gibraltar.

McCarthy, who has taken charge of both Sunderland and Wolves in the top-flight of English football, was speaking as he addressed concerns about the lack of elite level talent at his disposal.

"Actually, I'd sooner have them playing at the top of the Championship and playing well than being at the bottom of the Premier League and getting battered every week," McCarthy said. "Not that I think that Sheffield United will because I think they'll cope with it, the way they play."

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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder celebrates promotion: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

United's John Egan, David McGoldrick and Enda Stevens joined their Ireland team mates in the Portuguese resort of Quinta do Lago earlier this week, where they are set to spend seven days preparing for the Group D ties. Scott Hogan, who joined United on a six month loan from Aston Villa in January, has also been selected by McCarthy. The 27-year-old is waiting to discover if Wilder will attempt to lure him back to South Yorkshire although The Star understands other targets, including Brentford's Neal Maupay and Oli McBurnie of Swansea City, are being prioritised.

Speaking earlier this week, following Ireland's arrival on the Algarve, McCarthy confirmed Egan, Stevens and McGoldrick will all be eased back into action following a gruelling domestic campaign. The trip made a combined total of 138 appearances as Wilder, whose 3-5-2 system revolves around attacking wing-backs and over-lapping centre-halves, led United to second in the table.

"It will be mixed up and good fun, I think,” McCarthy said. "I’ve been managing teams for a long time and know full well it will cause a problem by having players trapped in the hotel all day.

"You can only train so much. We’ll be training twice on Wednesday and Thursday, then give them Friday off before getting back at it on Saturday."

Sheffield United are heading for the Premier League: Simon Bellis/Sportimage