One game, writes James Shield. Two mighty big decisions.
But if David Weir has decided who will start in goal and up-front against Notts County this evening, he was saying nothing during the South Yorkshire club’s media briefing yesterday.
“I’ve got a pretty good idea of my team,” the Sheffield United manager admitted. “There are still a few small issues I want to think about in my mind but, basically, it’s decided.
“There have been a few tough decisions to make. That’s a good thing though.
“I’m glad I’ve actually got them to make. We’ll speak with everyone beforehand.
“What I’ve already told the squad, though, is that the team which goes out there at the start of the season won’t be the one that finishes it.
“It’s not about eleven players. I want this to be all about the squad.”
If Weir was under any illusions about the demands of management, preparations for County’s visit have exposed him to the all-consuming nature of the job.
Tony McMahon will miss the former Scotland international’s first match in charge after spraining his ankle at York City last weekend. But fellow defender Marcus Williams (back) is available for selection.
“I’m excited, of course, but it’s not about me,” Weir, who arrived at Bramall Lane during the close season, continued. “Perhaps the only thing that’s surprised me about the job is how much of your time it eats-up.
“There’s lots to think about and so I can probably look forward to a few sleepless nights.”
Despite remaining tight-lipped about the fates of Mark Howard, George Long, Lyle Taylor and Chris Porter, Weir did shed some light on what the tone of his speech before tonight’s League One curtain-raiser would be.
Yes, he admitted, it is important to enjoy a positive start. But self-confidence must not masquerade as arrogance.
“Football is short-term, you get judged on every game,” Weir said. “But we have to perform across the course of an entire season so we have to look long-term too.
“We need to focus on the process rather than just a single result. And pressure doesn’t have to be a negative.
“I’ll talk about the need to respect your opponents but also about the fact it’s important to also respect yourself. Get the right balance.”