Tick tock tick tock

Last updated : 05 August 2008 By Jamie Furniss

The starting eleven has not yet been completed admits Blackwell and says there is still a few vacant places up for grabs. The encounter with Birmingham kicks-off the Championship season with a 12:45pm start live on Sky Sports.

The Blades have opened three games in the Premiership/Championship in the past four seasons. Like the Leicester game when United ran out 4:1 victors. That was the first Championship game, Liverpool when we were in the Premiership and Birmingham will be this season.

"Our fitness work is almost complete and this week will be all about teamwork - the shape, pattern and set-plays, both attacking and defending," said Blackwell.

"We haven't wanted to show our hand on set plays in pre-season but they are an area I take very seriously as I have had success with them in the past. It is especially pleasing when something you have come up with and worked on pays off in a game."

"And, of course, we have some new lads in and it is the opportunity to show them what Sheffield United is all about and what the ethos of the place is."