David Weir insists he has no regrets about becoming Sheffield United manager, despite the club’s slow start to the new League One season, writes James Shield.
The former Scotland international, who was unveiled as Danny Wilson’s permanent successor in June, visits Wolverhampton Wanderers today searching for his first win since beating Notts County on the opening weekend of the campaign.
Acknowledging that sequence of results have tested the patience of players, staff and supporters alike, Weir said: “The job is more difficult because results have been difficult. But the job in itself, in regards being out on the training field and working with the squad, is fantastic.
“I have loved that. The players have been great in regards doing what we have asked them to do and buying into what we want them to do.
“We have put in place a lot of things, on and off the field, that I think will help Sheffield United moving forward. That’s important to us.
“We spoke about that when I got the job about putting things in place that will help Sheffield United a successful football club and get us back to where we want to be.
“We are doing that. But ultimately fans want results, managers want results, and that’s what you are judged on.
“The job is all-encompassing, it takes up all your time. But I love it, genuinely love it.”
United suffered a fifth consecutive League One reverse when they were narrowly beaten by Preston North End seven days ago.
Wolves, who are 19 places above Weir’s charges in third, have won six of their previous eight and are expected to deploy Kevin McDonald against his former club.
Despite the scoreline, Weir was encouraged by aspects of United’s performance during the meeting with Simon Grayson’s side.
New signings Marlon King and Ryan Hall both impressed after arriving at Bramall Lane.
“Molineux is a tough place to go,” Weir said. “Against good players and in an environment that will be a test for us and the lads.
“But it’s one we should be looking forward to. Another opportunity to see where we are as a team, how we can develop as a team, if we can stand up to the test that we will definitely have there.
“They have talented players right through the team. It’s important we stand up to that and give a good show of ourselves.”
“Wolves have got some really talented forward players, wide players, and the level they have got within the group is very, very high,” Weir added. “I am sure they will be expecting to be one of the promoted teams this season.
“They came down from the Championship and the level of players and the finances that comes from their relatively recent time in the Premier League means their expectations will be really high and so they should be.”
Kenny Jackett, Weir’s counterpart in the Black Country, used a slice of Wolves’ £16m parachute payment to fund his move for McDonald after triggering a release clause inserted into the contract the 24-year-old signed during last term’s pre-season tour of Malta.
Bjorn Sigurdarson and Leigh Griffiths are poised to spearhead the hosts’ attack as fellow centre-forward Kevin Doyle battles to overcome injury.
Jamie Murphy returned to training at United’s Redtooth Academy earlier this week after overcoming a groin problem but Weir could resist the temptation to hand the winger an immediate recall.
“We’ll see how Jamie goes,” he said. “He’s back with us now which is great news but he’s not been training for long.
“That’s why we must still be careful with Jamie.”