Sheffield United v Scunthorpe United: Long demands Blades put on a show for fans

George Long of Sheffield United
George Long of Sheffield United
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Nigel Adkins expects some “disappointed people” next week when he holds meetings with his Sheffield United players.

The Blades have endured a frustrating campaign, which comes to an end tomorrow lunchtime with the visit of Scunthorpe United.

The Iron – Adkins’s former club – are chasing the final play-off spot with Barnsley and Gillingham.

United fans would have hoped their side would be competing too, but defeat at Coventry City last weekend finally ended their faint play-off hopes.

Now Adkins will hold one-on-one meetings with his players, including those away on loan, to thrash out their future.

He also has to decide on the Bramall Lane futures of several players whose contracts run out this summer, including Ryan Flynn, George Long, Jose Baxter, Harrison McGahey, Bob Harris and Flo Cuvelier.

“Next week I will sit down with the players individually, the lads who are out of contract, the players on loan, and the contracted players,” said Adkins.

“I will do one-on-one reviews with everybody. They have all got scheduled meetings with me next week. There’s a lot of work to be done next week.

“There’s a chance there will be some disappointed people next week, people who are out of contract, everyone’s still looking to be here I would imagine.

“But I have got to get the business side of it right. We have not signed one pre-contract agreement with anybody.”

One player who hopes to play a key role next season is Sheffield-born goalkeeper Long.

The 22-year-old admits United have “under-achieved” in not getting promotion, or even reaching the play-offs.

Now he wants to finish the season with a win for the Blades’ long-suffering fans tomorrow.

Long believes United’s recent form, after a switch in formation to 3-5-2, offers hope for next season. They have won five of their last 10 games.

“This season’s been a disappointment,” he said. “We had a target of promotion and that’s not been achieved.

“That’s pretty hard to take, considering the quality we have got. It’s an under-achievement by our standards.

“The positive is the performances have picked up towards the back end of the season, which bodes well for going into next year’s campaign.

“We are not all just thinking about the summer, Sunday is about putting on a show,” added Long.