Sheffield United: Jags backs new manager

Former United star Phil Jagielka on England duty.
Former United star Phil Jagielka on England duty.
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New Sheffield United manager David Weir has received the seal of approval from one of the club’s most successful former players.

Everton and England defender Phil Jagielka, who worked with Weir at Goodison Park before he left the Toffees to take over at Bramall Lane on a three-year contract, has praised the man who replaces Danny Wilson on a permanent basis. Jagielka left the Blades at the end of the 2006/07 season for Goodison Park on a five-year deal for a fee of £4 million.

He had been a key figure in United’s rise to the Premier League under Neil Warnock and it was to his old boss that he backed Weir.

Warnock told The Star: “I haven’t spoken to him (Weir) myself but I’ve had a chat to ‘Jaggy’ (Jagielka) and he rates him very highly.

“I’ve heard he’s a very good coach and is highly thought of around football.

“‘Jaggy’ certainly had good things to say about him.”

While Warnock and Jagielka were part of recent success for United the way last season ended, with a disappointing play-off semi-final defeat against Yeovil, many Blades fans are hoping that Weir can just keep their team in contention next season.

However, Weir, who won 69 caps for Scotland, is setting his sights much higher than that.

He said nothing short of ending the campaign looking forward to Championship football would be acceptable.

“Short-term, however you dress it up, it’s got to be promotion,” he said.

“That’s what I would regard as success and I want to be successful.”

This will be United’s third season in League One and Weir has already cautioned against spending too much money in trying to buy their way out of the division.

He said his vision has to be one that has the future of the club at its heart: “Long-term, it’s to get this club to where everyone thinks it should be and then stay there. Be sustainable with it.

“Try and ensure that when we get to where we want to be that we are equipped to survive.”

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