Jake Wright and James Wilson will both miss Sunday’s visit to Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield United’s assistant manager Alan Knill has confirmed.
Wright, who was ruled-out of Tuesday’s defeat by Walsall with a hamstring complaint, had been expected to feature in the FA Cup second round tie but is now expected to return during next weekend’s League One game against Swindon Town.
Knill revealed Wilson could also come into contention for that match, despite withdrawing from a behind-closed-doors friendly with Mansfield on Wednesday as a precautionary measure. The former Oldham Athletic centre-half is recovering from an ankle injury.
“Everybody is fit apart from Jake Wright and James Wilson,” Knill said. “Jake is still struggling a bit but should be okay for next weekend. James trained on Wednesday but felt a little bit of something and so took him out (of the game).”
Knill, speaking at United’s pre-match press conference earlier today, also revealed United have received no further updates from Wolverhampton Wanderers regarding Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s situation at Bramall Lane. Paul Lambert, the Wolves manager, watched the 23-year-old in action earlier this week and is expected to reveal if his loan will terminated next month shortly.
Although United suffered their first league defeat in 16 league outings when they were beaten by Walsall, Knill said: “We’ve got really good players, bottom line. When you put us against some of the teams we’ve played, without being disrespectful, some of our players have been on another level. And I have to say some of our play has been too.
“It’s difficult to take a positive out of a loss, especially when you are in management or coaching. But when people around you say ‘you’re playing well’ then that helps. It could have been four, five or six that night.”
With Wilson, Ebanks-Landell and Wright all absent, United could be forced to revert to a flat back four rather than Wilder’s preferred 3-5-2 system as they look to avenge August’s 1-0 defeat at The Macron Stadium.
Challenging United to go on another long unbeaten run, Knill said: “It’s irrelevant who the fixture is against. We had a great run and now we want another one. It doesn’t matter who the opposition is, we just want to get another one going. You always want to win your next game.”
“Every game in the FA Cup is difficult,” Knill added. “If you get a non-league club, the expectation is so much more. In this one, they expect to win and we expect to win. There’s isn’t more expectation on one side than the other. We know their players, we know how they play and they’ll be the same for us.
“This isn’t the Checkatrade is it. Every club wants to get through and hopefully get that prize draw. Our main priority is the league but we want to get through here too. If we do that then it might help us with funding in January. It’s a good game.”