Sheffield United: ‘Matt Done always puts the team first’ says boss

Matt Done also replaced Daniel Lafferty against Northampton Town. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Matt Done also replaced Daniel Lafferty against Northampton Town. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Matt Done has been praised for putting Sheffield United before his own ego ahead of this weekend’s visit to Walsall.

Earlier this season, the centre-forward admitted to being relieved after learning he would no longer be deployed at wing-back after being selected there by former manager Nigel Adkins last term.

But Chris Wilder, who replaced Adkins at the helm in May, revealed Done had volunteered to reprise the role after learning an injury meant Daniel Lafferty was unlikely to complete United’s match at Southend five days ago.

“Matt, we talked about him not playing at wing-back,” Wilder said. “But we knew there might be an issue with Daniel’s back and, credit to Doney, he went in there no questions asked. He was happy to help the team and that’s the attitude we want.”

Lafferty was eventually withdrawn after 56 minutes of United’s 4-2 victory; a result which saw them move four points clear of second-placed Scunthorpe.

Wilder said: “Daniel wasn’t moving well and he was a little bit stiff, the journey down didn’t help, we knew he had a bit of an issue. He passed a test and felt okay but the ground wasn’t very heavy going. We need everyone at full tilt and, to be fair, he wasn’t.”

Matt Done admits he prefers playing in attack but is willing to help out anywhere. Pic Jamie Tyerman/Sportimage

Matt Done admits he prefers playing in attack but is willing to help out anywhere. Pic Jamie Tyerman/Sportimage

Lafferty will be assessed again before Wilder names his team for Saturday’s meeting with Jon Whitney’s side. Striker Leon Clarke has also been undergoing treatment for an ankle complaint but was deemed fit enough to be named among United’s substitutes at Roots Hall.

“We won’t be taking risks with anyone at this stage,” Wilder admitted. “That’s not something we do because, quite simply, it’s not worth it. If we are right at the end, and need points to get to where we want to be, then it might be a different story. But I think the lads have shown they can cope with changes.”