Sheffield United: Moore will guide Chelsea loanee Blackman despite competition for place

Simon Moore with Richard Stearman following the defeat to Bristol City
Simon Moore with Richard Stearman following the defeat to Bristol City
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Simon Moore has promised to support Jamal Blackman through the latest phase of his Sheffield United career, despite seizing the on-loan youngster’s place in Chris Wilder’s starting eleven.

Moore is expected to start Saturday’s visit to Preston North End after facing Bristol City last week.

Wilder, who signed Blackman from Chelsea during the close season, elected to make a change following a disappointing sequence of results which has seen United slip from first to sixth in the Championship table in less than a month.

Although the decision failed to arrest that slide - Aden Flint’s injury time strike saw City win 2-1 - the fact Moore was not culpable for any of their goals means he is expected to make only his fourth appearance of the campaign at Deepdale.

Acknowledging Blackman will be disappointed to miss out, Moore said: “We all want to be stood out there, we all want to be learning, we’re learning all the time.

“I’m a bit older, I’ve got a bit more experience and I’ve been there, I’ve been out of the team and or been dropped.

“He’s got to stay positive, we’ll help each other and help each other learn.

"He’ll learn from this, like I did. We always stick together as a group and also as a squad as a whole.”

Moore, aged 27, has deputised for 24-year-old Blackman since suffering an injury during July’s friendly against Rotherham.

Signed on a season-long basis from Chelsea, Blackman has come under increasing scrutiny since making a rare mistake at Queens Park Rangers two months ago but, like Moore, can not be held accountable for the fact United have now conceded 10 times in their last four outings.

“Obviously I want to be playing, Jamal wants to be playing and competition is high,” Moore said.

“It brings out the best in us both. We’ll support each other for the good of this football club. Jamal is an excellent young goalkeeper and, in Wardy (Darren Ward), we’ve got an excellent coach.”

“That’s the great thing about here,” he added. “Everybody puts their own individual interests to one side.”