Long can go all way says Adkins

George Long
George Long

Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins insists goalkeeper George Long has all the necessary attributes to reach the top of the game.

The 22-year-old, a product of United’s Steelphalt Academy, kept his third successive clean sheet in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Scunthorpe and has only been beaten once - by Conor Hourihane’s stunning strike at Barnsley - in over six hours of football.

After shipping four goals on the opening day of the season at Gillingham, Long has now reclaimed the United No.1 spot from Mark Howard and Adkins, himself a former goalkeeper, said: “Things didn’t go George’s way on the first day of the season, but sometimes it won’t. It’s about how you respond to things like that.

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“I see him every day in training and he has all the attiributes to do really, really well in the game. But, of course, you’ve got to then go out and do it on the field.

“Over the last few games, he’s shown that he can catch, punch, kick, make saves and talk to his defence. His confidence is growing more and more.

“It was a great clean sheet, for George and for the whole team. You can see that everyone’s out there, working really hard for each other.”

Florent Cuvelier, meanwhile, played 76 minutes of United’s 2-0 U21 win over Birmingham yesterday.

Ryan Flynn scored both United goals.