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Blackie’s stock rising..

Kevin Blackwell has received his second glowing reference in as many weeks after former loanee David Cotterill joined Lee Martin in paying tribute to the talents of the Sheffield United manager.

Wigan Athletic midfielder Cotterill also joined Manchester United winger Martin, who also spent a large proportion of last season on loan at United, in expressing an interest in a return to Bramall Lane. Although The Blades ultimately failed to regain their Premier League status at the first attempt, Welsh international Cotterill was instrumental in a dramatic turnaround in fortunes that saw United briefly flirt with the Play-Off positions.

Cotterill: Could he be seen in a Blades shirt again?

“I really enjoyed my time at Bramall Lane,” Cotterill said. “It’s a club that should be in the Premiership, but it’s going forward and has a bright future.

“They almost got in the play-offs but, in the end, it was just a little bit too much in the end. We had an upturn, but it just wasn’t to be.”

Last week, Martin described Blackwell as ‘a really talented manager’, and Cotterill is the latest to publicly add his name to the list of Blackwell’s admirers. The 20-year-old has experienced a variety of different coaches, having worked under eight already in his short career, and believes Blackwell has already proved his worth to the Blades:

“I really enjoyed working under Kevin. As any of the lads will tell you, it’s enjoyable playing for him; he gets the best out of his players. He has done really well for Sheffield.”

Blackwell: A ‘really talented manager’accorded to loan rangers

Cotterill’s praise is clearly reciprocated by the United chief, who has been linked with a permanent move for the winger – one that Cotterill would welcome, provided United meet Steve Bruce’s reported £2million valuation of the player.

“I’ve said all along that if they (United) came in for me and Wigan accepted the bid, it’s the place where I want to be. But it’s up in the air – I’m talking to my agent and don’t want things dragging on now. Hopefully, Wigan and Sheffield United can try and strike a deal and hopefully I’ll be back at Sheffield United.

“With the likes of James Beattie and his scoring ability, you can see how they did really well. And all the lads are Premiership players and hopefully, if I’m not wanted at Wigan, I’ll be there for the push for promotion.”

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