Sheffield United: No sunshine for the new boss this summer

David Weir is introduced to the press as the new manager of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
David Weir is introduced to the press as the new manager of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
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David Weir has given up his summer holiday in order to ensure Sheffield United are properly prepared for next season, writes James Shield.

The former Scotland international, who took charge of the League One club earlier this week, made the admission after being unveiled as Danny Wilson’s successor on Tuesday.

“I’ve never been a big one for going away,” Weir said. “My wife will tell you that.

“She’ll have a break but I’m not going to. There’s far too much going on for me here.”

Weir’s first task will be to assess the players he inherits from the previous regime when United’s senior squad report back for training later this month.

With Wilson’s assistant Frank Barlow among those also departing Bramall Lane, the 43-year-old is set to continue talks aimed at ensuring a new management team is in place before United begin their pre-season preparations with a friendly against Greenock Morton on July 3.

Although Weir confirmed members of the team which reached last season’s play-off semi-finals will be granted the opportunity to stake claims for places in his starting eleven, senior figures, including chief executive Julian Winter, recently acknowledged plans have been drawn-up to re-enter the transfer market.

Weir, having started his career at Falkirk before going on to represent Heart of Midlothian and Glasgow Rangers, boasts a wealth of contacts north of the border. He also made over 250 appearances for Everton before heading to Ibrox.

“I have had such a fantastic career both as a player and as a coach but I now have to believe I can emulate that as a manager and I am confident I will do,” Weir said. “I have got belief in my methods.

“I will back myself and my philosophies. But I’d be a fool if I don’t use the advice and contacts I’ve gathered.

“Sheffield United have some good young players in the system and we’ll promote our own,” Weir added. “That’s the ideal pathway, though if there’s a player I can bring in who can help us, I’ll look at that.”

United travel to Cowdenbeath three days after their meeting with Morton before facing Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park on July 10. They have also arranged fixtures against Bury (July 13), Mansfield Town (July 20) and York City (July 27) before the League One curtain-raiser on August 3.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1