Blades: Sheffield United set sights on a man of style

Man of influence: The success of John Pemberton's youth squad has made Kevin McCabe re-evaluate what he wants from the next boss.
Man of influence: The success of John Pemberton's youth squad has made Kevin McCabe re-evaluate what he wants from the next boss.
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SHEFFIELD United’s next manager will be tasked with not only ensuring his players win next season but also that they win in style as the search for Micky Adams’ replacement continues to gather pace.

Bramall Lane’s board of directors could be poised to unveil the 49-year-old’s successor towards the end of next week after receiving more than 50 applications for the vacant post.

Although an early announcement can not entirely be ruled out, United’s hierarchy have resolved to wait until after Monday’s FA Youth Cup final second leg at Old Trafford before reaching a decision in an effort to ensure the spotlight remains firmly fixed on John Pemberton and his squad.

The performances of youngsters such as Jordan Slew, Elliott Whitehouse, George Long and Terry Kennedy in recent months have not only given the club a chance of lifting the famous trophy for the first time but also made an indelible impression on plc chairman Kevin McCabe and the rest of United’s hierarchy.

Rejecting suggestions that passing football is doomed to fail in League One, McCabe said: “Brighton and Southampton, who have both just been promoted, have shown that you go about things in the correct manner and still have success. They’ve shown that you can play with style and get results.”

Pemberton’s youngsters have won plaudits for their imaginative approach en route to their meeting with Manchester United. Goals from Callum McFadzean and Slew ensured they will cross the Pennines hopeful of building on last week’s 2-2 draw with Paul McGuinness’ side.

“The game has changed a lot in recent years,” said Pemberton. “The one thing I don’t ever want to see is one of the players in our system not being comfortable with the ball.

“I know from experience when I was still playing that if you get brought up with the longer-ball stuff then it can be very difficult to adapt to anything else.

“Of course there are always going to be times when you’ve got to mix things up a bit but if you’ve got the right attitude and a sound technique in the first place then it’s a lot easier to do both.”

United spent last week interviewing their shortlist of applicants for the vacant managerial position following Adams’ departure for failing to prevent them being relegated from the Championship.

Meanwhile, Marc Warren is part of Australia’s preparations for the under-20 World Cup.