Sheffield United: Blades boss considering changes for FA Cup first-round tie

Kieron Freeman of Sheffield Utd tackled by Ryan Colclough of MK Dons
Kieron Freeman of Sheffield Utd tackled by Ryan Colclough of MK Dons

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has hinted he will consider making changes for his side’s FA Cup first-round tie against Leyton Orient on Sunday.

United take a break from League One competition having established an 11-game unbeaten run, and first face League Two side Orient at Bramall Lane before turning their attentions to Tuesday’s trip to Grimsby - which brings the curtain down on a wholly unforgettable Checkatrade Trophy campaign.

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Kieron Freeman, who has played in each of United’s 14 games since his recall to the side at Millwall back in August - many in the physically demanding wing-back position - is one player likely to be rested, while Paul Coutts may be spared from duty after an almost-identical run of games.

“It’s certainly something we’ll look at,” Wilder confirmed.

“We’ve talked a lot about it, especially going into January, as our schedule is quite punishing at times; we have a lot of Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday weeks.

“We’ve had two tough games recently, against Bradford and MK Dons, and to win four points was a great effort. But it’ll have took its toll too and I’ll change the team if needs be.

“But what needs to happen is we need to have a continuity in selection, so we get that consistent performance no matter who plays.

“But yes, we might have to look at a couple to come out for a game, and we’ll expect others to go in and perform; as Stefan Scougall has done recently, and the likes of Caolan Lavery have done coming off the bench, too.”