Sheffield United: Morgan on stand-by

Chris Morgan could be set to bolster his backroom staff ahead of tomorrow's meeting with Port Vale
Chris Morgan could be set to bolster his backroom staff ahead of tomorrow's meeting with Port Vale

Chris Morgan has been placed on standby to take charge of tomorrow’s League One fixture against Port Vale as Sheffield United press ahead with their search for a new manager, writes James Shield.

Bramall Lane’s hierarchy had hoped to appoint David Weir’s successor ahead of the meeting with Micky Adams’ side after dispensing with the former Scotland international’s services last week.

However, although United’s board of directors are understood to have compiled their short-list of potential candidates, a number of unforeseen logistical problems have forced those plans to be reviewed.

As the Star revealed following Weir’s dismissal, MK Dons’ Karl Robinson, former Derby County chief Nigel Clough, Richie Barker of Crawley Town and Leyton Orient’s Russell Slade are all known to boast admirers behind the scenes at the South Yorkshire club.

But, despite reports to the contrary, Sven-Goran Eriksson is not thought to be a contender for the vacant role.

Morgan, who is scheduled to perform media duties at this morning’s pre-match media briefing, began his second spell in caretaker charge ahead of Sunday’s game at Coventry City.

With Weir’s assistant Lee Carsley also relieved of his duties following their disappointing start to the campaign, the 35-year-old could be tempted to bolster United’s backroom staff, albeit on a temporary basis, in time for Vale’s visit.

Mick Wadsworth, who served as the late Sir Bobby Robson’s number two at Newcastle, is believed to have been approached.

Having also worked closely with the England team earlier in his career, Wadsworth enjoys an enviable reputation within the game as a shrewd and intelligent coach.

United, who dropped to the foot of the table when they were beaten 3-2 at Sixfields Stadium, will resume their efforts to identify Weir’s replacement later today.

Peter Winkleman, MK Dons’ chairman, last night denied receiving an approach for Robinson while Barry Hearn, the impresario’s counterpart at Orient, has insisted United would be “wasting their time” asking for permission to discuss the position with Slade.

Clough, who left Pride Park nearly a month ago, has told friends he would prefer to agree his settlement package before considering another role.

United return to action when they face Peterborough at London Road on Tuesday evening.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1