Speed set for coaching debut
Gary Speed says he has encountered no big surprises ahead of his first match as Sheffield United manager.
Last Updated: 21/08/10 3:08pm
Gary Speed says he has encountered no big surprises ahead of his first match as Sheffield United manager this weekend.
The South Yorkshire club unveiled the former player as manager on Tuesday following Kevin Blackwell's exit after the Blades' 3-0 home defeat to Neil Warnock's QPR.
Speed will get his first taste of match-day management when United travel to the Riverside to face Middlesbrough on Sunday, with both teams having taken just one point from their opening two games.
And the 40-year-old, a former Leeds, Newcastle and Everton midfielder, is taking the new role in his stride having been first-team coach at Bramall Lane under Blackwell.
"It's a lot bigger but I expected that. There is nothing that has happened that has surprised me," Speed told Blades Player.
"I expected to be inundated with phone calls and be busy most of the day which I have been which is great."
Speed believes the players will benefit from the appointment of new first-team coach Jon Carver, who worked under Sir Bobby Robson during Speed's playing days at Newcastle, while assistant manager Sam Ellis is also staying on at the club.
"I think there is a happy medium," he added.
"In time it's nice to have a different voice: if the boys are hearing my voice all the time I think it loses its effect sometimes.
"I'll still be hands on, I'll still be there all the time, at every session, but I know I have got someone in who I can trust to take the training."
The Blades will go up against former team-mate Matt Kilgallon this weekend after the defender signed with Boro on a season-long loan deal from Sunderland earlier in the week.
Kilgallon, who moved to the Stadium of Light in the January transfer window after three years at Bramall Lane, admits he was stunned by Blackwell's departure.
"I was shocked to see Kevin Blackwell lose his job especially so early on in the season and the lads I know there certainly were," Kilgallon told Boro's official website.
"He and Sam Ellis were very important in my development and I learned a lot off both of them."
Kilgallon admits the prospect of playing regular first-team football tempted him to the Riverside after struggling to make an impact in the Premier League.
"(Black Cats manager) Steve Bruce said I could stay at Sunderland and fight for my place but that I'd probably be on the bench," added Kilgallon.
"I'm not one of those who can just train, sit on the bench and watch the games.
"I want to play football and enjoy it, I like to be part of the team, so hopefully I can get in the Middlesbrough side and play regularly again."