Sheffield United: ‘It’s good to talk’

Sheffield United manager David Weir  � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Sheffield United manager David Weir � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

The decorators reapplying paint to the walls of Brunton Park’s away dressing room might not thank him for it but David Weir, the Sheffield United manager, has vowed to hold more outspoken post-match inquests should the situation demand.

Weir made the admission after ordering his players to offer frank assessments of the reasons behind their disappointing start to the League One season which culminated in last weekend’s defeat at fellow strugglers Carlisle.

Insisting the policy of open governance will continue to be rolled-out, even if results improve, the former Scotland international said: “The dressing room is a sacred place as far as I’m concerned so, what goes on in there, stays in there.

“But I’m not going to deny that we’ve been asking a lot of questions. Every single one of us.

“Throughout my entire career I’ve always been of the view that it’s best to be honest. Be honest with yourself and with others.

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that so long as things are done in the proper environment and manner. Actually, I think it is a healthy thing to do.

“It doesn’t have to happen after bad results. Far from it. It’s something people should be looking to do at all times because you should always be striving to improve.”

Weir described United’s result in Cumbria, which subsequently saw them slip into the bottom four of the nascent table, as a “real low point” before backing his squad to turn their form around.

By contrast Preston North End, who visit Bramall Lane on Saturday, climbed to fifth following an emphatic 3-0 victory over Stevenage.

Nevertheless Simon Grayson, Weir’s counterpart at Deepdale, has warned against taking victory for granted.

“It’s not a bad start we have made and I would have taken that before the season started,” he said. “We have played some of the teams up there with us and have maintained some good form.

“Over the coming weeks and months we have to keep working hard. I’m not getting carried away by our start.

“The lads were back in on Monday to start working towards the Sheffield United game. Nothing is won and lost in the middle of September.

“We have to keep doing the right things and I think there is more to come from this team.”

Despite their differing fortunes, Weir echoed the same sentiment about United.

Members of his football recruitment department are working behind the scenes to identify a centre-forward capable of ensuring the team’s encouraging approach play does not continue to go to waste while Febian Brandy’s return from suspension should furnish them with an unpredictable edge.

“We are questioning lots of things,” Weir acknowledged. “We are questioning ourselves.

“We want to see what the thoughts of other people are and it’s important that we are honest and open with each other because, by doing that, it should help us get to the root of the problem and discover exactly what it is.

“We don’t want to keep coming out and saying the same things week after week and neither do we want to keep asking questions but not getting any answers. We’ve got a good bunch and a talented bunch so it’s important that we can all speak to each other.”

Meanwhile, United will continue to assess Jamie Murphy this week after the former Motherwell midfielder suffered a set-back in his fight against a groin injury.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1