"Brammall Lane is a tough place to go any time of the year. They’re a good team, a direct team who will ask questions physically. A counter attacking team whose set plays are very strong. There are Lots of areas of their team that can hurt us if we’re not right so big challenge is to mentally approach the game like we did the Brentford match where we were spot on in our mind set and need to get all the basics right if we are going to do well from this game”.
Howe gave little else away regarding his squad, simply adding that he was “still missing the two Joe's in midfield but apart from that I think we're good. We hope with Joelinton that he could possibly be back sooner, but with Joe Willock it will definitely be after the international break." Martin Dubravka is expected to be available after reporting unwell before the Milan game.
“We're going to have to rotate the squad. We don't want to make wholesale changes in any one game. I don't think that does our rhythm any good. Tweaks as we go along”.
On Callum Wilson, Howe stated that they were always monitoring Callum, his load, and his training to get the best out of him. “That doesn’t change whether it’s a single-game week or a three-game week, we have to monitor his training and make sure we give ourselves and Callum the best chance of staying fit through the season.”
Questioned on the midweek European adventure Howe responded to the question of what the game had taken out of his squad saying Those that played haven’t trained. Physically they can’t — that would be negative taking more energy from them. We probably won’t train fully before Sunday. We will be ‘training’ — but not to our maximum level” He added `’I don’t think anyone can measure emotionally what Milan took out of us”.
Asked about his surprise selection of Jacob Murphy against Milan and his reaction to the pre match anthem, Howe responded: “Jacob was magnificent last year. He's very reliable, you know what you're going to get from him. He did a really good job for the team.
I've seen the video. I don't know if he's overwhelmed but he's just taking it in. Rightly so, for a lot of our players. I think Jacob was savouring that moment.
Magnificent last year Always contributed, very reliable never lets us down is an attacking threat as well and does a good job for the team”
Howe also responded to a question regarding his goalkeeper Nick Pope, who put in an outstanding performance on Tuesday Night. He referred to him as a highly motivated individual who always wants to train and puts himself forward to do more as he wants to do more as he wants to maximise every moment of his career. He described him as highly driven; a great professional and his last two displays were ‘really good”.
The hosts meanwhile have numerous injury concerns.
Daniel Jebbison and Rhys Norrington-Davies remain out with long-term problems.
John Fleck, Rhian Brewster, Max Lowe, Ben Osborn, John Egan, and George Baldock are also out through injury.
Ollie McBurnie is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in their last outing: the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham.
As a club the Blades were rocked on Thursday by news of the death of Sheffield Women’s player Maddy Cusack.
In a statement the club said: "Sheffield United Football Club is devastated to report the sad news of the passing of Maddy Cusack. Maddy, a women's team player since 2019 and marketing executive for the Football Club, passed away on Wednesday."
Maddy had been with Sheffield Ladies for the previous five years had just signed a new player contract in July.
Her cause of death has not been revealed.