Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic's big admission about ex-Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham

Wes Foderingham could retain his place when Robin Olsen returns from injury, Slavisa Jokanovic has admitted, after the Sheffield United manager insisted he will do what “is best for the team.”

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 7:01 am

Foderingham produced an assured performance on only his fourth league start for the club since arriving from Rangers at the beginning of last season, making a series of important saves during Saturday’s draw with Coventry City.

With Olsen damaging a muscle whilst representing Sweden during the international break, Foderingham is expected to continue in goal for United’s forthcoming games against Reading and Bristol City.

But with Olsen struggling for form after leaving AS Roma on loan, Jokanovic refused to rule out the possibility of continuing to select Foderingham even if the 31-year-old recovers ahead of schedule.

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Reflecting on events during United’s stalemate with City, he told The Star: “Wes was calm. I had the sensation we were a little nervous but that was not the case with Wes. He supported us in the moments when we needed him.

“His performances, Wes will be in goal for the next few games. In football, and in life, when somebody is out it provides a chance for someone else. He took his chance in a positive way.”

“It is simple,” Jokanovic continued, “I choose who is most beneficial for the team as a whole.

Sheffield United goalkeeper and former Rangers player Wes Foderingham impressed against Coventry City at Bramall Lane: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“He (Foderingham) made a good job. I will see what is best for the team. I repeat, Wes used the opportunity he was given well.”

Despite his chequered displays after being recruited to replace Aaron Ramsdale, who recently made his senior England debut after being sold to Arsenal, Olsen continued to enjoy Jokanovic’s unwavering support before linking up with Janne Andersson’s squad. Capped more than 50 times by his country and having represented Everton, Malmo and PAOK ahead of his switch to Bramall Lane, Olsen still retains the backing of United’s coaching staff.

But with United struggling to make inroads into the race for promotion - they finished the meeting with Mark Robins’ fifth placed side 17th in the Championship - Foderingham could be granted an extended run if, in the absence of serious backing from the board of directors, Jokanovic is forced to look closer to home for solutions to his team’s uninspiring results.

Sweden's Robin Olsen, who joined Sheffield United from AS Roma, was injured during the international break: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

“We showed we can compete against a top team in this moment in this competition,” Jokanovic said. “But we needed to be more clinical.

"Wes, to begin with, he could not find the right pass out because we did not provide him with the right opportunities. But as the match went on, he was able to do that and also provide the right longer balls forward as well.

"He did what he needed to do and he also did well at set-pieces. I have three goalkeepers here, including (Michael) Verrips, and they must all be considered. I repeat, when someone can not be involved that means there is an opening for someone else. But I will always do what I think is the right thing for us.”

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic was pleased with the former Rangers player's performance: Simon Bellis / Sportimage