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Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Thursday, 15 July 2010 12:29 UK

Blades boss Kevin Blackwell 'loath' to losing Speed

Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell

Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell says the club rejected two approaches for Gary Speed because he did not want to lose any more of his backroom staff.

Swansea twice tried to speak to the ex-Wales captain over the manager's post.

"We've dealt with the situation, Gary is staying... and that's all I'm worried about," said Blackwell.

"At this moment in time I would be loath to lose a senior member of staff so close to the beginning of the season."

Speed, 40, was interviewed for the Swans job last summer but eventually missed out to Paulo Sousa.

But he has been in the frame again after Sousa quit the Liberty Stadium last week to take charge of Championship rivals Leicester City.

It appears Swansea made Speed their first-choice target having coming in for a second bid which was refused on Monday.

Eighty-five cap Speed, who was born in Mancot, Flintshire, has gained his Uefa pro licence coaching qualification and has made no secret of his desire to one day become a manager.

As a player, Speed featured for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers before joining the Blades, becoming the first footballer to reach 500 Premier League appearances.

A source close to Speed said on Sunday that he was "disappointed" to be refused permission to talk to the Swans, but Blackwell insists he is happy at Bramall Lane.

"Gary is a level-headed lad, he wants to learn, and he can, and he's thoroughly enjoying his time here," Blackwell told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"We believe that Gary will be staying with us for next season and we're delighted with that.

"Everything moves forward. We've had to rebuild the whole backroom staff throughout the summer.

"We've had physios and fitness coaches headhunted by other clubs and we've just put all that back in and I'm just loath to losing anyone else."

Former Reading and Watford manager Brendan Rodgers has been interviewed for the Swans job, while Scunthorpe United's Nigel Adkins has been heavily linked, but Hamilton boss Billy Reid has turned down the chance to talk to Swansea.



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see also
Adkins focused on Scunthorpe job
15 Jul 10 |  Scunthorpe
Swansea closing in on new manager
15 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Swansea confirm new boss Rodgers
16 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Accies boss explains Swansea snub
13 Jul 10 |  Hamilton
Swansea fail in second Speed bid
12 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Toshack tips Speed for Swans job
06 Jul 10 |  Swansea
What next for Swansea City?
03 May 10 |  Swansea
Sousa departs as Swansea manager
05 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Speed in line for Swansea talks
09 Jun 09 |  Swansea
Speed says career is not over yet
19 Dec 08 |  Sheff Utd


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