Slavisa Jokanovic makes pledge regarding Sheffield United starlet Iliman Ndiaye

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Slavisa Jokanovic has acknowledged the need to manage the game time of Iliman Ndiaye carefully - despite the stellar impact of the Frenchman in his first two starts for the Blades this week.

Ndiaye backed up his outstanding full debut for the club in Saturday’s scintillating 6-2 victory over Peterborough - where he helped himself to a double - with an impressive encore in midweek against Preston - quickly making a name for himself with Unitedites in the process.

Playing his part in a potentially significant milestone for the Blades to round off an excellent week - by way of contributing to a first away success of the season at Hull City on Saturday - would round off an outstanding seven days for the 21-year-old.

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But Jokanovic is conscious of the demands of Ndiaye playing his third game in a week and has pledged to manage him watchfully

Sheffield United's Iliman Ndiaye. Picture: SPORTIMAGE

He said: “We will check him. He played brilliantly in the first game and played good in the second. Of course, I had to change him in both games and we will take one training (session) more and make a decision because his habit is not to play three, two or one game (a week) in the same competition (Championship). We will try and decide what is best for us.

“Iliman showed the personality which we have missed in terms of characteristics. He is different from my players as he can play between the lines in the final third with good passes, control and speed. He impressed us in a positive way, but we will check what is the best way to manage him.

"We cannot put all the responsibility on Iliman. We need more people with similar personalities and quality to win more games."

Meanwhile, Jokanovic has revealed his delight at being able to work with Republic of Ireland defender Enda Stevens for the first time, with the 31-year-old now back in the fray following a knee problem.

The Serb also confirmed that Ben Osborn is available for the weekend game at Yorkshire rivals Hull, while also revealing that a calf injury has precluded the recent involvement of Ben Davies.

On Stevens, Jokanovic said: “Enda started working today with us. It was my first training session working with Enda since I arrived at Sheffield United.

“We have tried to adapt some exercises for him, simply because this is his first time working with us. It is great news for us that we can start working with him on the field."

On the situation with Osborn and Davies, he continued: “Ben Osborn has started working with us and will be available.

“Ben Davies only made two sessions after the international break and we expect he will soon be ready as he has not played the last two games.

“He has a calf problem and we needed time for him to recover to play for us. He has not played a lot of the time and we found some kind of problem. But he is in a working process and I believe he will be in the right condition to support us soon.”