Nigel Adkins says goalkeeper George Long is a big part of his plans this season.
The Sheffield born stopper, who spent much of last season out on-loan, including a successful stint in the SPL with Motherwell, started in United's loss at Gillingham before being replaced by Mark Howard.
But the 21-year-old has started and impressed Adkins in recent cup ties at Fulham and Hartlepool and the Blades boss is keen to see Long continue to develop under his management.
He remarked: "George (Long) was excellent at Hartlepool, he was assured, commanding and extremely brave on a couple of occasions. He came and took a few crosses and made a couple of important punches too.
"We believe in George he knows that, he started the season and things didn't work out, but he has played against Fulham and Hartlepool and he has done really well.
"George needs to play with a real confidence and belief and the cup games have helped him do so."
With no game this weekend, owing to international call-ups, Adkins concluded by analysing the current options at his disposal.
The Gaffer added: "We still have players in the treatment room, some talented ones too, so when they are fit they will be like new signings.
"We are constantly managing the squad and trying to do best by individuals to develop them and get them some minutes, that's why the likes of Connor Dimaio and Diego De Girolamo played for the U21s against Sheffield Wednesday earlier this week.
"Whilst the likes of Alcock, Kennedy, McGahey, Flynn and Higdon played in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy fixture."