SO who next for Sheffield United?
That is the burning question at Bramall Lane this morning following last night’s announcement that Micky Adams, who only arrived at the club in December, had paid the ultimate price for failing to save them from relegation.
Kevin McCabe, United’s plc chairman, outlined the qualities potential candidates must demonstrate before being considered for the post after delivering the news.
And although money will be made available for “prudent” recruitment, a commitment to weaving members of John Pemberton’s FA Youth Cup final squad into a new-look first team is understood to be top of the list.
“Young players will have to be given their opportunities at the right time,” McCabe said yesterday. “I feel that in order to give ourselves the best opportunity we should make a clean sweep at the top and start afresh next season.”
Inevitably, those words have prompted claims that Pemberton himself would represent a shrewd choice. But, given the size of the task facing Adams’ successor, United’s board of directors are also likely to consider more experienced names as they look to make an instant return to the Championship.
Despite seeing Kevin Blackwell, Gary Speed, John Carver and now Adams all depart since August, there is likely to be no shortage of applicants for what is still regarded as a prestigious post.
Chris Wilder, who has impressed at Oxford, is likely to be linked alongside Leyton Orient’s Russell Slade who has previously proven adept at working with fledgling professionals.
Should Danny Wilson, previously of Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday, opt to express an interest then his CV – which as well as delivering top-flight football to Oakwell includes a promotion at Hartlepool and League One play-off final with Swindon Town – would also be worthy of further consideration.
United’s hierarchy, who have made no secret of the fact that economies must be made, could be attracted by his ability to deliver results on meagre budgets.
Previous associations with Hillsborough, where he also made nearly 100 league appearances as a player, might not immediately endear Wilson to supporters. But blending victories with positive, attractive football could win them round should United explore this particular avenue.
Adams, who has followed United since childhood, faced no such problem when he replaced caretaker John Carver towards the end of last year and he showed his class by wishing them “all the best” despite being told his services were no longer required.
“I would like to think they (the fans) regard me as one of them,” said Adams. “I wish the McCabes well because if anyone deserves success it’s Kevin and his family.”