Sheffield United: Why a decision on Jack O’Connell’s Steel City derby involvement could be delayed

Sheffield United are unlikely to decide if Jack O'Connell starts next week's derby against Sheffield Wednesday until they have completed their research on Steve Bruce's side.

Monday, 25th February 2019, 14:57 pm
Updated Monday, 25th February 2019, 15:02 pm
Sheffield United's Jack O'Connell (left), Chris Basham and George Baldock: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Chris Wilder, the United manager, explained the "pace of the game" influenced his decision to omit the centre-half from the squad which beat West Bromwich Albion last weekend, despite suggesting the player had recovered from injury.

Being able to call upon O'Connell, who had started 106 league games in a row until damaging a hamstring during the visit to Aston Villa, would be a huge boost for Wilder ahead of United's most emotive fixture of the season.

Although the 51-year-old has indicated O'Connell will feature, his analysis of the reasons behind the defender's absence at The Hawthorns suggests a final call has yet to be made.

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"Jack O'Connell was a precaution as well, I could possibly have chucked him out there," Wilder said. "But looking at the tempo of the game and what we were coming into, I didn't think he was just ready. But we will get him right for the game next Monday."