Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has explained Caolan Lavery’s absence from the starting line-up for his side’s 6-0 FA Cup hammering of Leyton Orient on Sunday.
United romped into the second round thanks to Harry Chapman’s second-half hat-trick, added to goals from Chris Basham, Stefan Scougall and Kieron Freeman.
With Matt Done missing through injury and Billy Sharp suffering from illness, although he volunteered to be on the bench, Lavery seemed a certain starter.
But Wilder’s decision to pair Chapman and Scougall up-front against the League Two outfit paid off, although Scougall was withdrawn at half-time, and the Blades boss said: “We didn’t have a recognised centre-forward out there so to score six was very, very good.
“With Caolan we just want to make sure he is ready for 35 games, not three.
“If it was later in the season, then we might have risked him but he got a good run out and did well.
“That was good to see. It’s a long season and we want him to be right.
“Leon Clarke is back out on the grass again and working hard. He knows he needs to do that and it will be good to have him back.
“When Matty is too, it will give us good options up there.
“And you always need those.”