Sheffield United: James Wallace set to return

Sheffield United's James Wallace
Sheffield United's James Wallace

James Wallace is poised to end his six month injury hell at Ilkeston this afternoon.

The midfielder, who has been absent since January, could be named in the squad which visits the New Manor for Sheffield United’s first outing under Nigel Adkins.

And the former Southampton chief, who took charge of the League One club last month, will offer Neill Collins a chance to ressurect his Bramall Lane career after being ostracised by Nigel Clough.

“As far as I am concerned, this is a fresh start now,” Adkins said. “One of the good things about pre-season is that it gets everyone focused again.

“It has allowed me to have an honest conversation with players brought in by a previous manager. And get where they are and what their mindset is.

“I must say everyone has been very positive. The honesty about the guys has been top drawer.”

Wallace was regarded as one of the most gifted youngsters in the Football League when he arrived from Tranmere Rovers last term. But his debut season with United was wrecked by knee and groin complaints.

Collins’ last appearance for United came during October’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Hartlepool.

Relations between the defender and Clough became increasingly strained en route to May’s play-off semi-finals. But Adkins, who was appointed soon after United’s promotion hopes were dashed by Swindon Town, has been quick to offer every member of staff “a clean slate.”

“For me, that has to be more than a soundbite,” he said. “We want honesty. We can only take people at face value and they’ve been working hard. So we must shown them that same honesty too.”