Top-flight ambition for new Blades boss Weir

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New manager David Weir revealed his Premier League ambitions for Sheffield United after being unveiled at Bramall Lane earlier this week.

Weir, the former Everton and Rangers centre back, became the eighth person to take charge of United since 2007 when he agreed a three-year contract to succeed Danny Wilson.

The Scot beat off competition from candidates including Robert Page and Michael Appleton to land the United job, and said: “In the short term, promotion has to be the aim - as soon as possible, within reason.

“But in the long term, it’s no secret where I believe the club belongs, and where the fans think the club belongs.

“I want to get there and stay there, by building something sustainable.

“That’s my philosophy - to build something that lasts, with good foundations.

“I want us to get back to where we belong, and stay there.”

Weir arrives at Bramall Lane having spent the last 16 months working with Everton’s development side at Goodison Park.

“There are definitely similarities between the two clubs,” Weir added.

“It’s a city with two clubs - red and blue, of course - and United and Everton are both working people’s clubs.

“People at both places want and demand hard work, that is the way I have been brought up, so hopefully we’ll be a good match.”

“I do want to play a brand of exciting football,” the 69-cap Scotland international added.

“That’s the way football is going nowadays. You’ve got to have a certain style to your play.

“But at the same time, you’ve got to match your club and the values it holds.

“I think you have a responsibility to understand the club you join, and I did that. I got a good feeling straightaway.

“You become a part of the club when you join, and the club becomes a part of you.”

Weir, who confirmed that negotiations are underway to complete his Bramall Lane backroom team, will first take charge of United when they undertake a three-game pre-season tour of his native Scotland.

United’s squad will travel to Greenock Morton on July 3, before facing Cowdenbeath and Raith Rovers.

Away friendlies against Bury, Mansfield Town and York City will complete the pre-season programme.

The new manager will want to have the bulk of his squad finalised before travelling north and Kris Boyd, a former team-mate with Rangers and Scotland, could be one target with his short-term contract at Kilmarnock set to expire.

“I want to get some players in, to complement the players we already have here,” Weir, who spent a month with United before accepting a coaching post at Goodison Park, said.

“First and foremost, there are some good players already here. I know how good some of them are, and I know how good some of them can be.

“It’s a great asset to have spent time here already - I know some of the players, and how the club works day in, day out.”

As United prepare for their third season in League One, Weir is unlikely to be handed a substantial budget and, as chief executive Julian Winter confirmed, he will be expected to scour the country for out-of-contract players.

“There will be an element of squad transition,” Winter said.

“We have to generate money to be able to bring players in, but the world of football is changing.

“There are hundreds of players out of work this summer, so we’ve got to be clever and creative in bringing in the players that will suit the playing style.”

For Weir, who has spent the majority of his career at the top level, this is his first sustained experience of life in English football’s lower leagues.

“I can’t hide that I’ve never played or managed at this level,” Weir said.

“But I’ve spent the last two or three years watching a lot of football and talking to a lot of people.

“I’ve worked with some good coaches, and I have a broad spectrum of knowledge.

“Life is about learning - whether you’re 23, 43 or 63 you should always be willing to learn something new every day, and I am no different.”