Sheffield United: Why Chris Wilder took his time over Caolan Lavery

Caolan Lavery made his Sheffield United debut on Saturday against Peterborough
Caolan Lavery made his Sheffield United debut on Saturday against Peterborough

Chris Wilder has explained why Sheffield United adopted a cautious approach towards Caolan Lavery’s conditioning programme after the centre-forward made his debut for the League One club.

Lavery appeared as a second-half substitute during the weekend’s game against Peterborough at Bramall Lane which ended in a 1-0 win for the hosts.

Despite joining United before the recent transfer deadline, Wilder waited 18 days before selecting Lavery but explained FIFA’s decision to abolish the emergency loan system meant coaching staff had to tread carefully.

“I do think the picture has changed now with the loan situation because the window doesn’t open up again until January,” Wilder said. “In the past, if someone had to drop out we could bring someone in. That’s the not the case now which is why we are a little bit more careful with things like this than, to be fair, might have been the case before.”

Although Lavery only left Sheffield Wednesday at the end of last season, Saturday’s cameo was his first senior outing since January. The 23-year-old, who scored four goals in 11 starts during a short-term spell with Portsmouth, was asked to complete a mini pre-season programme at the Steelphalt Academy before being considered for selection.

“You’ve got to consider every factor because our job is the make the group as strong as it possibly can be,” Wilder said. “You’ve also got to do the right thing by the player as well as the club.”