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Johnson Looking To Exploit Blades' Weaknesses

20 November 2014

Lee Johnson is looking to take the game to Sheffield United as he aims for a place in the play off places come 5pm on Saturday.

After losing the club's unbeaten streak to table toppers Bristol City at the start of the month, Latics have remained unbeaten since and will be looking to continue that trend.

The gaffer, who was present at Doncaster's victory over Weston-Super-Mare in the FA Cup first round midweek, believes the Blades have good players but admits any team in this division is beatable. 

He said: "They have got a lot of talented players so we will have to take our game to them. We have got a good record against them and we will be looking to continue that on Saturday. 

"They have got a lot of mavericks in their squad. They have Campbell-Ryce, Baxter and Murphy, who is a talented player. They don't really have a striker with Higdon out so they have Barcelona type players and play with a false nine. Flynn is a very good player also. 

"They are good on the ball, intricate and have quality movement in their players. You have to manage that because if not, they will beat us but I think they have got weaknesses that we can exploit. 

With the loan window set to shut in the coming weeks, the manager has not ruled out movements in and out of the football club.

"We have had an enquiry about one of our players for a loan out but that is only talks. We are still in the market for a couple of positions if possible but depending on opportunity and price tag, we will have to assess what we do. 

"We have looked at a couple of trialists and young lads who played in the reserves the other day and they acquitted themselves really well. Roope Riski from Finland has decent pedigree and good quality so we will have to see how that goes."

With the busy Christmas fixtures approaching, the 33-year-old will need all his players at his disposal for the fixtures. Johnson had both positive and negative news regarding the injury situations.

"George Elokobi is training and is back in. We have been pushing him in a bit so it's a case of managing that and not overworking him. Locky should be fine but he has a bit of an impingement on his knee. His knee locked during the 90 minute game so we will have to leave that a couple of days. He has responded well to treatment so he could be in contention at the weekend," said Johnson.

"We've had a set back with Rhys Turner. Since we signed him we has been blighted by injuries. He is a real young talented player and he has been great but injuries have cursed him. I feel so sorry for him because he has come back and got fit but he obviously has a problem with his hamstrings. 

"He could still be in a growth spurt because he has only just turned 18. It is a disaster really because he needs to make an impression soon as his contract is up at the end of the season, however, we do have faith in him and we will give him every opportunity to try and get to the bottom of his issues.

"The poor kid was in tears coming off on Monday because he is upset with his body but we will give him every chance to have a proper career."

Watch the full interview on Latics Player.

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