Sheffield United: Blades prepare to overcome Gigg Lane challenges

Ethan Ebanks-Landell slots in a dramatic winner against Bury
Ethan Ebanks-Landell slots in a dramatic winner against Bury
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Sheffield United could be forced to ring the changes at Bury this afternoon, manager Chris Wilder has admitted.

With the visit to Gigg Lane coming only 48 hours after Saturday’s game against Northampton Town, United’s preparation time for the 25th match of their Christmas schedule has been limited.

And, having introduced a new no-holds-barred training regime since taking charge in May, Wilder acknowledged the meeting with Chris Brass’ side could present a number of different challenges.

“If a team is doing well then you don’t want to change things too much,” he said.

“But, if there’s a quick turnaround, then it can be tough for a host of reasons. We’ve always thought, if we do have to alter things a little bit, then this might be the game when it happens although, if we don’t have to, we won’t.”

Bury, despite travelling to South Yorkshire on an eight match losing streak, came within four minutes of holding United to a draw at Bramall Lane earlier this season. Jacob Mellis and Greg Leigh were both dismissed during a hard-fought contest before Ethan Ebanks-Landell pounced deep into added time.

“We’re fortunate to play on a great surface and great credit has got to go to the groundstaff for that,” Wilder added.

“But elsewhere, pitches aren’t always great at this time of year and so you’ve got to be geared-up and ready to cope with that.

“You’ve got to be able to adjust accordingly and, to be fair to the lads, I think that’s something they’ve done so far. Take Coventry for example. I had a bit of a pop during the post-match interviews but sometimes that can be a dangerous time to talk.

“I apologised afterwards and, although I’m not going soft, I just felt it was important for the players to know where I was at.”