Reds Manager David Flitcroft caught up with the press ahead of tomorrow’s South Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough.
“However old you are, go get as many league games as possible. I think people are more interested in making money than memories.
“Ryan (Tunnicliffe), I think, had a time here fragmented in terms of where he came from in the 21s league, he probably wasn’t physically capable of playing Saturday-Tuesday.
“I still think, from a mental point of view, we could have developed him.
“Man United want to develop Tunners to play for their first team.
“I thought I might have got John Stones. They’ve got an injury situation with (Tony) Hibbert, who’s back-up for Seamus Coleman. Stonesy is part of what Dave’s doing there, they think highly of him to not let him out.”
One recruit in the shape of Dennis Knight is seen as a ‘project’ for Flitcroft over the remainder of the season in the Under 21s squad.
“Peter Beardsley rates him as one of the most technically gifted players he’s seen. He’s not fit enough yet. He’s not up to Championship standard. It’s a project we’ve taken up to the end of the season.”
As for tomorrow’s game itself, ‘Flicker’ is hopeful of replicating the energy shown against Leeds – the last local derby Flitcroft took charge of.
“If we get a supercharged performance, our fans are going to back us,” he said. “We’ve had a brilliant prep week. We’ve had two brilliant days to prepare for Saturday.
“It’s important to beat teams in and around you but it’s not catastrophic if you don’t.
“The fans since I took over have been energised but been quite calm. They’ve stayed with us and cheered us on.
“They’ve been patient and calm. It’s helped, it’s certainly helped me. There’s a calming influence they’ve got. Whereas before that there’s been an edge.
“This team’s been fighting tooth and nail since I got the caretaker job. These players know what these games are about.”
Flitcroft also told the press he'll assess the fitness of Jim O'Brien in training today, after the midfielder hurt his ankle earlier in the week. Jimmy McNulty, Rory Delap and Scott Golbourne are all out.