SHEFFIELD UNITED: Keeper Danny Coyne stays at lane

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DANNY Coyne will remain with Sheffield United until the middle of next month after the League One club’s board of directors agreed to extend his contract at Bramall Lane.

Coyne, the former Wales, Middlesbrough and Leicester City goalkeeper, had been scheduled to leave when his short-term deal expired later this week.

But with Mark Howard still recovering from serious injury, United moved to avert a potential selection crisis by granting manager Danny Wilson permission to retain the 39-year-old’s services.

Speaking before Saturday’s defeat by Yeovil Town, which saw his team slip to fourth in the table, Wilson admitted that new financial measures, which limit the amount he can spend on players, had cast doubt over Coyne’s future.

However, The Star can confirm that United’s hierarchy sanctioned his continued presence for at least another four weeks before Paddy Madden’s brace condemned Wilson’s charge to only their fourth loss of the season.

“Danny has been absolutely brilliant since coming here,” Wilson, who signed Coyne in November, said. “He’s great to have around, great in the dressing room and great with the other ’keepers too.

“They’re both young lads and they’ve picked up so much from just working with Danny. Plus, with a couple of the boys being injured, you need to have more than just one available even during training.

“If you’re just firing shots at just one person all week then there’s an increased chance they are going to end up getting a knock too.”

George Long, who has started every game since Howard tore a muscle at Leyton Orient in October, was responsible for gifting Madden his second strike as United produced a disappointing display against the visitors from Huish Park.

But Wilson stood full-square behind the teenager, saying: “It happens. Everyone, especially youngsters, makes mistakes. You’ve got to accept that and George will learn from it.

“We’ll put an arm around him and he deserves that because he’s been fantastic for us. I won’t have anyone criticising him.

“And you’ve got to give credit to Madden because he chased that ball down for about 30 yards. George, though, is very mentally strong.”