Bartley backing Speed

On-loan Blades defender welcomes new boss

Speed: Backed by Bartley

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Sheffield United's on-loan defender Kyle Bartley is confident that new manager Gary Speed is the right man to take the club forward.

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The former Wales international took over the reins nine days ago, after the abrupt departure of Kevin Blackwell just two league games into the new season.

Speed's first outing ended with a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on Sunday, but Bartley, who is on a season-long loan spell from Arsenal, told skysports.com that the brand of football that Speed is preaching should stand the Blades in good stead this season.

"Everyone is disappointed that we are at the bottom of the league after three games, but it is still early days and the boys are just focusing on getting a win under our belt on Saturday and kick-starting our season," he said.

"We've had a good week with the gaffer now and he wants to make changes to how we played under Kevin.

Rewards

"He wants us to play a lot more football because that is what he was used to when he was playing the game.

"I think that we have got the players to do that and hopefully we can get the rewards from that on the pitch."

The 19-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell at Bramall Lane towards the end of last season and was brought back to the club by Blackwell earlier this month, and Bartley admits that his subsequent departure came as a complete shock to everyone.

"Kevin was disappointed towards the end of last season when we didn't get into the play-offs, so I thought that if there was a time for him to step down it would have been over the summer, but obviously he didn't.

"I think that he wanted another crack at it after all the difficulties with injuries we had last season, but the board felt it was the right time for a change and Gary Speed has been given the opportunity to take this club forward now."