Blades planning instant escape from League One

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LEICESTER, Norwich and Southampton. . . three brilliant points of light in the gloom of Sheffield United’s descent to League One, writes Alan Biggs.

LEICESTER, Norwich and Southampton. . . three brilliant points of light in the gloom of Sheffield United’s descent to League One, writes Alan Biggs.

All three have made first-time escapes in recent times, which is now the benchmark at Bramall Lane.

Can the Blades follow suit? Or will they endure the labours of Leeds and Nottingham Forest, not to mention Sheffield Wednesday?

Maybe the most realistic pitch is somewhere in between. Automatic promotion looks difficult if not doubtful considering the scale of overhaul at the club; the play-offs, as ever, will be the holy grail for so many.

But really we are fumbling in the dark because at this time last year, no-one foresaw the disaster that was about to unfold. Or, at least, no-one in a position to do something about it.

Perhaps Kevin Blackwell, harshly sacked after two games, was the one who did. Then again, senior players evidently didn’t see it coming. Certainly not Chris Morgan (now player-coach), Nick Montgomery or Stephen Quinn who were all happy to sign new deals on generous terms.

And, crucially, the club was taken so unawares that no pay drop clauses for relegation were included in those contracts.

For the full story see this week’s Telegraph.