Sheffield United: Goalkeepers are set to battle it out

Simon Moore and Jamal Blackman (left): Robin Parker/Sportimage
Simon Moore and Jamal Blackman (left): Robin Parker/Sportimage

Simon Moore has been told he is in pole position to start the remaining five fixtures of the Championship season, despite Jamal Blackman’s imminent return from suspension.

Blackman, on loan from Chelsea, serves the final match of a three game ban when Middlesbrough visit Bramall Lane tomorrow night.

Although Chris Wilder has indicated United will investigate the possibility of signing the 24-year-old goalkeeper on a permanent basis when his temporary agreement expires this summer, Moore was last night told he could start against Millwall this weekend providing he impresses against Tony Pulis’ side.

“It’s now Simon’s jersey to lose,” Wilder confirmed. “It was a tough decision on Mooro, when we brought Jamal straight back in previously, but I felt that was justified.”

Blackman was handed an immediate recall after suffering an injury against Reading two months ago. Although the former England under-19 international has appeared in the majority of United’s matches so far this term, he was dismissed for violent conduct following a clash with Brentford’s Ryan Woods during Good Friday’s meeting at Griffin Park.

Despite describing the referee’s decision as harsh - “I’m not really sure what he (Woods) was thinking about dealing with a 6ft 7in lad. Jamal doesn’t have to hand the ball back” - Wilder is keen to foster an atmosphere of creative tension behind the scenes as United chase a place in the end of season play-offs.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“We’ve said that to the players; be ready,” he said. “Everybody has to be ready. You never know when you will be called upon to step in. Now Simon is in there and he’ll have to play well to keep Jamma out. If he does that, then we know something is going well don’t we.”