Caolan Lavery edged a step closer towards making his senior debut for Sheffield United after starting the Professional Development League defeat by Coventry City.
Chris Wilder, the United manager, watched yesterday’s game at the Steelphalt Academy which also featured trialist Chris Burke.
Lavery, who signed a three year contract at Bramall Lane after leaving Sheffield Wednesday earlier this summer, is expected to be named in the squad which hosts Peterborough on Saturday providing he reports no ill-effects from the under-23 outing.
“We want Caolan to be as sharp as possible before he gets involved,” Wilder said. “He won’t be 100 per cent match fit because, in fairness, that won’t be possible. But it’s important, for him and for us, that he is as close to it as he can be.”
“Caolan has been working hard and we’ve put him through a mini pre-season type programme,” Wilder, speaking before the PDL fixture, added. “You’ve got to get that base (fitness) level otherwise you won’t do yourself justice.
“We’re looking forward to seeing Caolan out there but, equally, we don’t want him then to pull up and not be available for a few more weeks. That’s why we’ve been doing the work we’ve been doing.”
Although the PDL fixture was primarily a conditioning exercise for Lavery, Burke will have been frustrated not to enjoy a better platform to showcase his talents after joining United on trial. The 32-year-old, who has been capped by Scotland at international level, was named in Travis Binnion’s team alongside Ben Whiteman, Louis Reed and Harry Chapman.
Whiteman scored United’s goal from the penalty spot as a poor defensive display saw them beaten 5-1.