Sheffield United v Derby County - Blades in need of ‘fresh blood’

In the aftermath of Saturday’s crushing defeat to Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic talked about “the mix” he needs at Bramall Lane. Tonight in the League Cup there should be a few auditions.

If there were positives to come from playing Chris Wilder football (albeit with more emphasis on possession) on Saturday, to equalise in stoppage time and still lose 2-1 smacked of a mentality hard for players very used to defeat to shake off alone.

“We need a little bit of fresh blood,” admitted Jokanovic.

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The infusion has been slow, just loanee Ben Davies. Adlene Guedioura is a target but at 35 years-old, expectations cannot be too high. Manchester United winger Amad Diallo is on Jokanovic’s list, but plenty of others are too. The £24m banked for Aaron Ramsdale does not seem to have burst open any floodgates.

NEW BLOOD: So far, Ben Davies is the only player signed by Sheffield United this summer. Picture: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

But there is another way to freshen the side. Youngsters Kacper Lopata, Kyle Gordon, Zak Brunt, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Tyler Smith and Daniel Jebbison featured in the only game the Blades have won this season, beating Carlisle United in round one, yet only Norrington-Davies has started in the league.

“Ben Davies showed his experience at this level and played a pretty good game,” said Jokanovic.

“Rhys Norrington-Davies tried a lot of things, brought speed defensively and was focused and concentrated. It’s a good group. We don’t need to change one squad for another in one transfer window but we hope we will find some new blood.”

Hopefully they find out tonight some of what they badly need is already there.

MANAGER: Slavisa Jokanovic of Sheffield United. Picture: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Last six games: Sheffield United LLDWLW; Derby County DWDLLL

Referee: A Backhouse (Carlisle)

Last time: Sheffield United 3 Derby County 1, December 26, 2018, Championship.