Blade frustrated as Jags of all trade
Sheffield United midfielder Phil Jagielka has revealed that he's approached Neil Warnock for clarification of his role for the Blades' Premiership campaign.
United's injury problems in defence this season have predominantly led to Jagielka being employed as a centre-back, despite being one of the Blades' most influential midfielders during their promotion winning run last year.
He only returned to midfield for last Saturday's 2-1 defeat at home to Reading, and was clearly short of practice. He did not feature during their sole win of the season against Bury on Tuesday night.
He said: 'I have spoken to the gaffer about things and I'm just looking to settle into one position now.
'But you never know. I'll probably be filling in here, there and everywhere for the next few weeks.
'I know I've struggled to hit the heights this season, but then I've not had the chance to play too many games in one position.
'It's not been helping my progress, but I just have to do what the gaffer wants, and hopefully my performances will pick up.'
Jagielka has acknowledged his appearances at centre-half have led to talk that he may be better suited to that defensive role, though he is determined to return to the centre of midfield.
'It's easy to see, though, I've performed better at the back - and whether that's trying to tell me something, I don't know. We will have to wait and see.
'But I have found it easier to play at the back, although I'm just as determined to prove I can play midfield as well.
'It's certainly been frustrating not being able to nail down the one position.
'In training each week I've been playing in all sorts of roles, so it's not like I can master what I'm doing come Saturday.
'That's the way it's been because of injuries, so it's been a case of doing what's best for the team and taking it step by step.'
The Blades face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this Saturday, where they will be looking to record their first win of the Premiership season, in spite of their continuing injury crisis.
United have several players on the sidelines including goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, defenders Craig Short, Alan Wright and Derek Geary, midfielders Michael Tonge and Nick Montgomery, as well as strikers Danny Webber, Steve Kabba and Neil Shipperley.
Chinese international Li Tie may step up in midfield having made his first English competitive start since January 2004 against Bury on Tuesday night, after returning from serious shin and ankle injuries.
United manager Warnock, who has revealed he has begun working on his autobiography, will be doubly keen to win in what will be his 1000th game in charge of a Football League club.
Arsenal are coming off the back of a sterling performance in their 1-0 win away to Manchester United last Sunday, but are still to record a Premiership victory at their new home.