Sheffield United: Stefan Scougall’s attitude is what all Blades players should strive to copy

John Fleck of Sheffield Utd  replaces Stefan Scougall, who has been earning praise from Blades assistant Alan Knill

John Fleck of Sheffield Utd replaces Stefan Scougall, who has been earning praise from Blades assistant Alan Knill

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Sheffield United’s players have been ordered to follow Stefan Scougall’s lead if they want to win promotion.

The former Scotland under-21 international produced a scintillating display as Chris Wilder’s side recorded its first victory of the new season by beating Oxford United at Bramall Lane.

Despite confirming Wilder hopes to re-enter the transfer market before Wednesday’s deadline, his assistant Alan Knill insisted potential targets must demonsrate Scougall’s selfless streak in order to be considered for moves to South Yorkshire.

“Stefan is a talented player and a very good person which is the most important thing.” Knill said. “He’s a team player and he puts the team before himself. That’s exactly what we want, team players. Because, if you look at the clubs that won things last year, they were all teams in the true sense of the word.”

Scougall was on the brink of leaving United before being granted a reprieve following Wilder’s appointment in May. But together with debutant Jake Wright, he seized his opportunity in style after being named in the starting eleven which faced Oxford on Saturday afternoon.

“When you put somebody on the pitch, you want to know exactly what you are getting,” Knill said. “Probably not many people know Jake but he’s been solid all his career. He leads people, he organises people and he brings a lot to the table. You want competition, he got his chance and I’ve got this feeling it’s going to be difficult to move him. He’s a solid person and a solid player.”

United appeared to be heading for a fourth defeat in five League One outings when Kane Hemmings fired Oxford ahead before half-time. But Billy Sharp and James Wilson both pounced after the break as they climbed off the foot of the table.

United failed in attempts to recruit Wigan Athletic’s Craig Morgan and Byron Moore last week but could look to resurrect their bid for the Millwall centre-half after sources claimed he is keen on exploring the possibility of a return north. Caolan Lavery is expected to join United after parting company with Sheffield Wednesday earlier this summer.

“We are looking to strengthen and help the players that we’ve got,” Knill said. “There are a few areas we have identified and, of course, now there’s no loan window either so the more depth you’ve got to your squad, the better.”