Sheffield United duo come under scrutiny ahead of Crystal Palace clash
Sheffield United are continuing to assess Sander Berge and Chris Basham ahead of this weekend’s game against Crystal Palace after both played longer than expected on their return from during last weekend’s visit to Tottenham Hotspur.
Basham played all 90 minutes of the 4-0 defeat, United’s second heaviest of the Premier League season so far, while Berge was introduced at half-time as Paul Heckingbottom tried in vain to change the dynamic of the contest.
With neither scheduled to be on the pitch as long as they did, both Basham and Berge are being monitored by medical staff at the Steelphalt Academy - despite being granted permission to resume full time training more than seven days ago.
Heckingbottom, who was placed in caretaker charge following Chris Wilder’s departure in March, conceded he had revised the duo’s planned schedules in north London after expressing his disappointment at United’s first half display.
“It wasn’t planned, with Bash and Sander,” Heckingbottom said. “It’ll do them good in terms of getting the minutes but they were out there longer than we thought.
“We’ll be seeing how they react and get on over the next few days. There was nothing to be concerned about immediately afterwards. But we’ll be keeping an eye on them just in case, because we don’t want anything to flare up.”
Basham has not featured for United since February’s reverse at Fulham; a result which effectively confirmed their relegation following two years in the top-flight. Berge, a £22m signing from Genk, underwent hamstring surgery in December and only resumed his duties at Bramall Lane just before their return to the Championship was mathematically confirmed last month.
Although Heckingbottom was critical of United’s display in the capital, particularly before the interval, he excused Basham and Berge from taking any personal responsibility for the scoreline.
“I won’t be critical of those two, no way,” Heckingbottom said. “Bash has been out for a long time but you always know what you are going to get from him.
“Sander won’t be up to speed in terms of what he wants to do either, because he’s been out even longer.”