Warnock rethinks squad size
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sheffield United's Neil Warnock has admitted he has struggled with the size of his squad.
Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock has admitted he has struggled to get to grips with the size of his squad this season.
The Blades have returned to the top flight this term after a 12-year absence, and have made a number of new additions.
With one of the biggest squads in the league Warnock is considering letting some of his fringe members gain experience on loan at other clubs.
"I don't want anyone to go permanently and they all know that but it is difficult because I have not been in this situation before," he explained.
"But it is no good me telling you I know what I'm doing because I don't - I have to handle the players and squad numbers the best I can really.
"We have just got to keep our eyes on their fitness levels. We can tell what they are doing but it is not like playing games."
With Claude Davis (knee), Craig Short (thigh) and Leigh Bromby (hamstring) returning to action for the reserves in mid-week, Danny Webber remains a doubt because of a groin strain sustained in the draw with Blackburn Rovers.
Steve Kabba is still out with a hamstring injury and midfielder Michael Tonge (ankle) is the latest casualty sweating on his fitness ahead of the visit of fellow Premiership new boys Reading on Saturday.
"Michael Tonge has struggled all week and we are going to leave him until the last minute. He is a fit lad so he is not going to need training as much and he is an important member," Warnock stated.
"It is probably touch and go until Saturday morning."
Full back Robert Kozluk has meanwhile been touted for a possible loan move to his former club Derby County, but the Bramall Lane boss is wary of letting the defender leave just yet.
"There was talk about him going before deadline and if it had happened I would probably have agreed because Rob has pestered me with it being Derby," Warnock added.
"But he has told me he loves it here and he wouldn't want to go anywhere else but Derby.
"They didn't come in permanently before the deadline and I'm not prepared to let him go until I know I have got myself covered on the three lads who are coming back from injury.
"We have a Carling Cup game next Tuesday and Arsenal away next weekend so we have a tough week ahead.
"If everything is the same then I will possibly let Rob get some games. At some stage we will probably do the same with Chris Lucketti if he is fit for three or four weeks without a game.
"I said to Ships (Neil Shipperley) I thought he should go out for a month and get three or four games and the next day he pulled his calf muscle - it's sod's law really."
With just two points to show from their opening four games, the South Yorkshire side will be anxious to get a win under their belt and kick-start their campaign above the relegation zone.