Sheffield United's plans could change after Preston clash
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has told those players set to face Preston North End this afternoon that the match represents a chance for them to force their way into his squad for the Premier League opener against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The outing is the final friendly on United’s warm-up schedule ahead of the meeting with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, which takes place only 10 days time.
Although six of his team are away on international duty and Scotland’s Oli McBurnie is still working his way back to fitness after lacerating a foot, Wilder views the match at Bramall Lane as an opportunity for many of those set to be on duty to influence United’s selection policy.
“It’s a chance to impress for some of the boys,” he said, after revealing Tuesday’s win over Derby County had given him food for thought. “So was the last one. That was also a chance to impress and they took it. The same thing needs to happen again.
“Everyone knows what I want from them and they know what they have to do to get in the team.”
Despite naming a settled starting eleven throughout much of his time in charge - after using only 26 players en route to promotion from the Championship, United deployed the same number as they finished ninth in the top-flight last term - Wilder is seemingly prepared to adopt a different approach when competition resumes after emphasising the importance of constructing a deeper squad.
“Every game’s important,” he said. “Either to stay in or get in.”