Sheffield United: 'Outstanding' Jamal Blackman gives returning Simon Moore a tough task

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Simon Moore appears set for a battle to regain his first team place after fellow goalkeeper Jamal Blackman was described as “outstanding” ahead of Sheffield United’s victory over Sunderland.

The assessment, delivered by manager Chris Wilder, came after it emerged Moore returned to full training last week after undergoing knee surgery earlier this summer.

“Simon is back out there with the rest of the lads now,” Wilder said. “He’s coming along really well but he might need a couple of games first. We’re pretty well stocked there, I think, because Jake Eastwood has done ever so well, he’s shown what he’s about, and Jamal has been outstanding since coming in.”

Blackman, aged 23, is scheduled to spend the rest of the season at Bramall Lane after joining on loan from Chelsea. Although Wilder acknowledged Moore was “our clear number one” throughout last term’s League One title winning campaign, his team mate’s recent displays mean the picture is now much more opaque.

Moore was not considered for selection at the Stadium of Light but could take part in today’s development fixture against Coventry City. Travis Binnion’s side then host Millwall on September 18.

Speaking last week, Wilder told The Star that Moore could possibly have played on after injuring his knee during a friendly against Rotherham United. However, doctors, together with the club’s own medical department, prescribed a different course of action after assessing the extent of the problem.

“It’s an issue in the back of Simon’s knee,” Wilder explained. “It’s a bit of floating bone. He could have left it but at any time, it could have flared up again and caused double the amount of trouble. We just thought it’s best he gets it cleared-up.”

“There’s no point in taking risks unless you have to,” Wilder continued. “There’s genuine competition there now and that’s what we wanted because they’ll all keep pushing each other on. I think our goalkeeping situation looks pretty healthy which is good.”