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Justin Bieber inspires Southend

The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Bernard weighs options after Blades appearance

Olivier Bernard is keeping his options open after appearing in a pre-season friendly for Sheffield United last night.

The Rangers left-back was given special dispensation to play for the Blades in a 3-1 victory over Scottish Division Two side Morton.

United boss Neil Warnock has conceded he will now 'play it by ear' as to the future of former Lyon and Newcastle defender Bernard.

But it would appear the Frenchman's days at Ibrox are numbered after playing just one first-team game this year following his capture before the start of last season by former boss Alex McLeish.

The 26-year-old has also apparently been overlooked by new manager Paul Le Guen, resulting in his surprise appearance as a triallist at Cappielow.

Bernard is refusing to throw in the towel on his time with Rangers as he said: 'If I show enough character and desire I might get back in the team, you never know.

'But at the same time if Sheffield United want me, if I can prove myself to another club, then why not?

'I'm not looking for anything, but at the same time I just want to play football. It's a difficult situation.'

Bernard, who has another year to run on his contract at Ibrox, added in the Sheffield Star: 'I've been playing a couple of games with the reserves, but it's not the same level.

'Last night was a good opportunity for me to play a different type of game.'

Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell, meanwhile, has insisted there are no hard feelings following striker Rob Hulse's departure to the Blades.

Warnock has finally landed his man after Hulse favoured a move last summer to Elland Road instead of Bramall Lane when he left West Brom.

Leeds' decision to sell their top scorer last season with 14 goals represents good business as they paid £1.1million for the 26-year-old following an initial loan spell.

'We have decided to let him go and I would like to wish Rob all the best in the Premiership,' said Blackwell.

'I've a lot of time for Rob, he's a good lad and I'm sure he'll do well wherever he plays.'