Sheffield United Women’s Neil Redfearn looks to the future with WSL promotion ‘unlikely’

Sheffield United Women head coach Neil Redfearn has one eye on the future after admitting promotion to the WSL this season is probably out of reach.

By Steve Jones
Friday, 12th March 2021, 1:00 pm

The Blades have won three in a row and sit third in the Women’s Championship but are 10 points off leaders Leicester City, who occupy the second tier’s only promotion spot, with five games to go.

Redfearn said: “We are too many points off with not enough games to catch up but you never know. The biggest thing for me is developing this process of ours and how we want to play.

“I have found in the past it usually goes hand in hand with results eventually. It's about developing these players no matter how old they are. I want to make them better.”

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Neil Redfearn, manager of Sheffield United Women.

Sheffield United Women return to competitive action at home to Charlton Athletic this Sunday having not played for five weeks due to a combination of fixture postponements, the international break and suspended FA Cup weekends.

The team will also begin their FA Cup journey in the fourth round on Sunday, 18 April after the competition was suspended in January due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Redfearn said: “It's tough. We have had some friendly games behind closed doors and filled most weekends with some sort of 11 v 11, which has been good, to be fair, but obviously it's the competitive side you miss.

“It gives us a chance to look at the younger ones as well. I have been so pleased with them, they have been fantastic. My background is a player developer, it's something I'm really keen on."

The former Leeds United boss helped nurture talents like Kalvin Phillips and Lewis Cook when he was in charge of the club’s academy and also served as Newcastle United U23 head coach in between spells managing Rotherham United, Doncaster Belles and Liverpool Women.

Redfearn, who led the Belles to the second division title in the 2017/18 season, added: “We will try and win as many as we can, we want to go as far as we can in the cup and finish as close as we can to the top of the league.

“We can affect both top and bottom of the league in the games we are playing, but I'm more interested in us.”