Sheffield United: Sidelined George Long ‘ultra-professional’

Goalkeeper George Long
Goalkeeper George Long
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Chris Wilder believes goalkeeper George Long can still have a future at Sheffield United despite being sidelined at Bramall Lane.

The 22-year-old Academy product has played over 100 games for United, but has not featured since the 3-0 loss to Southend United on August 16.

Blades chief Wilder has brought in Simon Moore from Cardiff City, and has struggled to even make the substitutes bench ahead of rookie Aaron Ramsdale.

But with the transfer window closed until January - and loan moves not allowed - Long has been forced to watch on as United chalked up a six-match unbeaten league run.

Having three goalkeepers to chose from, means Wilder was always going to have to leave one out, but he praised the attitude of Long.

“He can’t leave until January,” said Wilder. “He has been ultra-professional, worked very well, and he has to because this is his career.

“I don’t write anything off in football, anything can happen. We could lose two goalkeepers pretty quickly, George comes in and we go from there.

“Nothing is ever done and dusted until someone leaves the club. George is here and contracted to us.”

One player who has benefitted from the arrival of Wilder is striker Matt Done.

Used as a wing-back under previous boss Nigel Adkins, Done has been pushed further forward this season, netting twice in his last four games.

“I saw bits and pieces last year, and we had talks with all the players in how to get the best out of them,” Wilder said.

“Matt came up with “I don’t want to play in that position” where he played a few times last year.

“He came to the club under Nigel Club as a forward, he is a forward in our eyes.

“At times, he has to do jobs when we change the shape. He gives everything, and when you are enjoying your football - which he is - you sometimes look that little bit quicker and sharper.

“He’s done very well, not just him, Paul Coutts, Kieron Freeman, they look strong.”

United travel to Fleetwood Town tomorrow, looking to make seven games unbeaten in League One.

Wilder added: “They have beaten some decent teams this year, are competitive, and another test for us.

“We want to keep our run going. We went to the league leaders last week, and produced a decent performance, and got a really good result in light of what happened at the back end of the game.

“We won on Tuesday, and we want to keep it going, we are hungry for another three points.”