Nigel Adkins, the Sheffield United manager, has admitted he could be forced to make some unwelcome changes at the DW Stadium tonight.
Despite citing consistent team selections for the visitors’ improved form of late, Adkins has warned his starting eleven for the crucial encounter against Wigan Athletic could bear little resemblance to the one which frustrated Manchester United in the FA Cup three days ago.
Centre-forward Billy Sharp and captain Jay McEveley are among those undergoing treatment ahead of a match which could see Adkins’ side move to within touching distance of sixth-placed Peterborough.
“Everybody wants to be involved and we are already seeing people putting themselves forward which is good,” he said. “But there are other factors to consider. It was interesting to hear Louis van Gaal say why he left Morgan Schneiderlin and Ashley Young out against us. It was because they were in the ‘Red Zone’ after the busy Christmas period which asks a lot of players and supporters. You have to be careful not to overload people. We have access the all the sports science and we use GPS data to track, for example, high intensity runs during a game. Whether you like it or not, there’s no point in having it if you don’t use it.”
Coaching staff at United, who slipped to ninth in the League One table before being beaten 1-0 by van Gaal’s team, have also been monitoring weather reports for the North-West ahead of their rearranged meeting with fifth-placed Wigan.
“It’s something we always do,” Adkins said. “It’s important to consider the conditions regarding which game plans you might use.”