DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, has explained why David McAllister was allowed to leave Bramall Lane last month, writes James Shield.
McAllister made 30 appearances in two years for the South Yorkshire club before joining tomorrow’s opponents Shrewsbury Town.
Paying tribute to the midfielder’s “commitment” and “character,” Wilson said: “We’ve got a crop of youngsters coming through and you’ve got to give them a pathway into the team.
“They’ve got to be able to see a route through and if that gets clogged up then it creates a problem not only with that group but also the ones who are trying to push through below.
“For example, having someone like Elliott Whitehouse here made the decision (to sell McAllister) a little bit easier.
“He’s a different type of player to David, as different qualities and attributes, but he needs to feel as if he has a chance which he most definitely has.”
McAllister, aged 24, commanded an undisclosed fee when he returned to Greenhous Meadow earlier this year.
The former Shelbourne and St Patrick’s Athletic prospect had enjoyed a spell on loan with Graham Turner’s side the previous season and, despite being sent-off against Aldershot in March, played a crucial role in helping them eventually gain promotion from League Two.
Wilson, who saw McAllister score the only goal of the game when Town visited United earlier this term, said: “David is a great professional and a great human being too.
“He never ever gave us a moment’s trouble and he was always absolutely spot-on with regards to his effort, application and preparation.
“David has earned his chance to play. That’s what he needed to do.
“He knows us well and we know him well. We know how committed he will be because he’s that type of character.”
Despite acknowledging that the likes of Whitehouse, Diego De Girolamo, Callum McFadzean, Joe Ironside and Terry Kennedy could all feature as United look to negotiate a congested fixture schedule, Wilson insisted the importance of elder statesman such as Neill Collins, Dave Kitson and new signing Barry Robson should not be overlooked.
United travel to Shropshire this afternoon sixth in the table - eight points behind second placed Doncaster Rovers - with 17 matches remaining.
“Quality and experience are vital,” Wilson said.