Blades boss has faith in Long

Long: Respected by team-mates

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Sheffield United teenager George Long has received a ringing endorsement from manager Danny Wilson ahead of the Oldham clash.

The 18-year-old, who made his first-team debut aged 17 on the last day of the 2010/11 campaign and a further four appearances for the Blades last season, will start in place of Mark Howard, who has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a thigh injury, and Wilson has no fears about Long making the step up.

"We want George to go out and enjoy himself and if he plays well then great, but if he doesn't it won't alter our jusgement of him because he's a young lad and you have to give them a bit of leeway in that respect.

"But we've got great faith in him and from his point of view he can't wait to get started because he's been champing at the bit, even last season, to play, so he's a little more experienced this season and the way he performed at Leyton Orient gives me great faith.

"He's a very confident, likeable boy. He's terrific in training and the lads as a group have got the utmost respect for him. He's a very determined young lad and I can see big things for him in the future."