Sheffield United face Sunderland in the Championship tonight.
Sheffield United head to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland tonight, in what is another tough outing for Paul Heckingbottom’s side. The Blades lost at home to Luton Town last time out, having now lost three of their last five in the Championship, allowing Middlesbrough in 3rd to close the gap to just three points.
And ahead of tonight’s game, Heckingbottom was quizzed on Manchester City loan man Tommy Doyle and why he hasn’t been starting games of late.
The Blades boss said:
“There was no way he was going to play in the game after that [game v Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup]. No way. He’s picked up those two calf injuries when he’s had some big physical outputs and gone game, game, game. So there was no way after that.
“And then, we thought Macca [James McAtee] was the one for Reading, to play in behind their midfield a little bit more and open up, and once we saw the Reading team we knew we’d picked the right one in terms of when they played with the three centre-backs and one in the middle. Sometimes I think games are horses for courses.”
Doyle, 21, has featured 23 time in the Championship this season, scoring twice and assisting twice. His last start in the Championship came against Millwall last month, with Doyle having come off the bench later on in recent games v Luton and Blackburn Rovers.
Horses for courses…
Sheffield United have a good amount of squad depth. And that’s been vital to their success this season given how many injuries they’ve had to deal with, but it also means that players will be left out of certain games.
Doyle has certainly been a useful player for the Blades this season. But with Heckingbottom having a number of options in his positions, Doyle inevitably isn’t going to start every game, and like Heckingbottom says, there’ll be games where Doyle is better suited, and games where someone like McAtee is better suited.
Sheffield United v Sunderland kicks off at 8pm tonight, with the game being shown live on Sky Sports.