Sheffield United: Bramall Lane chief Chris Wilder allays any momentum worries over blank week

Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Stefan Scougall of Sheffield Utd during the training session
Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Stefan Scougall of Sheffield Utd during the training session
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Boss Chris Wilder has rejected suggestions that their lack of midweek fixture this week will halt Sheffield United’s growing momentum.

Wilder’s Blades are currently enjoying an 11-match unbeaten run in League One and go into their FA Cup tie against Leyton Orient on Sunday averaging three goals a game in their last four outings.

Wilder is expected to shuffle his pack ahead of Sunday’s first-round tie at Bramall Lane, and also in Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy clash at Grimsby which, with United unable to progress in the competition, is only just less meaningless than the two group games before it.

Their next League One commitment comes a week on Sunday, a televised clash with local rivals Chesterfield and a potential reunion with former striker Ched Evans, but Wilder allayed any fears that a blank week could see United’s momentum grind to a shuddering halt.

“From a coach’s point of view, the week is a working one,” Wilder said.

“We don’t just put sessions on through the week to pass the time, and get through to Saturday.

“We work hard, whether that’s physically, tactically or technically, or all three.

“We have certain things that we’ll work on which will make us better for the weekend.

“I’m a firm believer, and I always have been, that we will all improve this way because of how hard the players and the staff work in the week.

“But the more chance we get to put that work into them, and hammer home how we want them to play, then the players will get better and, more importantly, the group will improve.”

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Leon Clarke is back in training at United’s Steelphalt Academy base after his ankle injury, and could be in contention for a return to the squad for the visit to Chesterfield.

Matt Done, who fractured his jaw in the thrilling draw at Bradford City last month, could also return to face Danny Wilson’s Spireites while Wilder is expected to give Caolan Lavery some time on the pitch against Orient and Grimsby.