Another week, another selection dilemma, writes James Shield. Well, several to be precise.
David Weir harboured suspicions that management would prove a mental as well as physical test after taking charge of Sheffield United in June. And, having spent their preparations for last week’s win over Notts County pondering whether George Long or Mark Howard would start in goal, the former Scotland international now finds himself wrestling with yet more taxing problems after acknowledging that Conor Coady and Lyle Taylor have both staked claims for prominent roles when United return to League One action at Brentford tomorrow.
Despite the 2-1 scoreline, Coady and Taylor enhanced their reputations during Tuesday’s Capital One Cup defeat by Burton Albion.
The ankle injury Taylor sustained after entering the fray as a second-half substitute could spare Weir the bother of reshuffling an attack likely to contain Jamie Murphy and Febian Brandy after they were named on the bench against Gary Rowett’s side. The case for Coady’s inclusion though was made even more compelling following Weir’s admission the midfielder’s “technical ability” prompted his arrival on loan from Liverpool.
If, as expected, Tony McMahon overcomes an ankle problem then Weir could also elect to change a back four breached twice by Albion’s Chris Hussey.
“Sometimes you learn more when you lose,” Weir said. “Overall I thought we played well (against Burton) but there are areas that clearly still need to be worked on.”