Sheffield United: Enda Stevens is told what he must do to win his first team place back as Ben Osborn also returns
Enda Stevens must prove he has grasped the demands of Sheffield United’s new system as well as his fitness before being considered for a return to first team action, manager Slavisa Jokanovic has told the Republic of Ireland international.
Confirming Stevens returned to training this morning after recovering from injury, Jokanovic explained coaching staff have devised a series of drills to help the player understand exactly how his role will change.
Deployed as a wing-back for the majority of his career at Bramall Lane, Stevens has seen the Serb switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation since the international break - with United’s fortunes improving as a result.
After failing to win any of their opening five Championship games under Jokanovic, United enter Saturday’s game at Hull City having taken four points from their last two.
“Enda Stevens started working today with us, and this is my first training session working with him,” Jokanovic said. “It is not a first impression though, because I know him well. We tried to adapt some exercises for him because it is the first time he has been working with us on the field.”
Stevens has not featured since Jokanovic’s appointment during the close season. Although he is unlikely to feature against Grant McCann’s side, he could take part in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Southampton.
Ben Davies, who missed United’s 6-2 win over Peterborough last weekend and Tuesday’s draw with Preston North End, remains a doubt for the trip to East Yorkshire. But Ben Osborn is available for selection following illness. The former Nottingham Forest midfielder was on target twice against Darren Ferguson’s men but sat out the clash with North End.
“Ben Osborn is working with us and he will be available for the next game,” Jokanovic said. “Ben Davies will be available soon, he only had two sessions during the international break - I mean afterwards.
“I expect him to be ready soon, because he does need a few more. He has an injury and needs time to recover. I believe he will be in the right condition to support us, maybe in the next game too.”