THERE may still be trouble ahead but Danny Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, last night declared himself satisfied with the progress made during his first week in charge at Bramall Lane.
Wilson, who beat-off competition from Mark Robins and Keith Hill to secure what he described as a “massive” job, has spent the past seven days playing transfer market chess ahead of one of the most important recruitment drives in the Blades’ recent history.
The former Northern Ireland international inherited a squad still reeling from relegation when he was officially unveiled as Micky Adams’ successor seven days.
Conceding the prospect of League One football is unlikely to enthral some of more recognisable names on United’s roster - “I’m sure there are going to be some big names who want to go” - Wilson quashed fears he will be unable to sign replacements until those high-earners depart.
“I don’t think that’s the case at all,” he told The Star. “One of the first things you always do when you come into a new club is get in touch with everyone and try to discover what their intentions are.
“Obviously with it being the close season it can be a little bit tougher getting hold of people because they’re away on holiday but we’re well on with that now.
“I’m sure, in a situation like this, there are going to be lads who want to go. It’s inevitable.
“And, I’m sure there are going to be other clubs higher up the ladder who are going to want to try and buy them.
“It’s impossible to finalise absolutely everything because you’ve got to wait and see what some of those other clubs try and do – how they are going to try and go about things – but you deal with that situation and you get on with it.”
Wilson, who aims to recruit Frank Barlow as his assistant, added: “I’ve compiled a list of targets for every eventuality. That way, we can try and move quickly should certain situations develop.
“There are options should one person go, options should they end-up saying they want to stay but someone else decides to leave.
“It’s important to try and be as prepared as you possibly can.”
Wilson, whose previous associations with Sheffield Wednesday meant his appointment created a stir in some quarters, has remained tight-lipped about his targets.
However, one of his first tasks will be to discover whether Darius Henderson, one of the club’s best paid players, intends to make good on his promise not to demand a move.
Persuading Jordan Slew, United’s talented teenage marksman, to reject Fulham’s overtures is another.
“I’m excited about the challenge of being Sheffield United manager,” said Wilson. “It’s a huge job in every sense.”