Paul Heckingbottom explains Sheffield United duo’s extended absence | OneFootball

Paul Heckingbottom explains Sheffield United duo’s extended absence

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Football League World

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has revealed that Robin Olsen is not set to make his return to action for a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Michael Verrips is still following the concussion protocol after being struck in the head by a ball.

After joining the Blades on a temporary deal from AS Roma in the summer transfer window, Olsen was handed his debut during the club’s clash with Preston North End in September.

The Sweden international has since gone on to make 10 more appearances for the club in the Championship.

However, after picking up a muscular injury last month, Olsen has been forced to watch on from the sidelines for United’s clashes with Coventry City, Reading and Bristol City.

Verrips was left out of the club’s match-day squad for their 2-0 victory over the Robins due to concussion and hasn’t made a senior appearance for the Blades since featuring in their 4-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

In the absence of Olsen, Wes Foderingham has managed to keep three clean-sheets in the Championship and is expected to start for United in their meeting with Cardiff City tomorrow.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference (as cited by Yorkshire Live) about the duo, the Blades boss said: “Michael got a ball in the face and is following the concussion protocol so we’ll be led by that.

“You know how it works now, you tick off the days when you’re symptom-free.

“If you’re not you go back a place so he’s a couple of days into that.

“Robin is just progressing as we expect so he’ll still be a couple of weeks.”

The Verdict

When Olsen is fit enough to make his return to action, he may find it difficult to displace Foderingham as the former Rangers man has recently produced some assured performances in the Championship.

Particularly impressive during the Blades’ clash with Coventry City, the keeper made several saves in this fixture as he recorded a WhoScored match rating of 7.67.

As for Verrips, it could be argued that he may find it beneficial to seal a temporary move away from Bramall Lane in January as he may find it difficult to force his way into contention for a starting role due to the presence of Olsen and Foderingham.

By featuring regularly for a club in a lower division, Verrips could make considerable strides in terms of his development during the second-half of the 2021/22 campaign.

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