Gary Speed has put on hold his plans to become a Manager, says the Sheffield United coach, after his chances of taking over at Swansea City were ended by the Blades' refusal to grant the former Wales international permission to talk with the club's npower Championship rivals, who have now appointed Brendan Rodgers.

As he fixed his attention on helping Sheffield United make a push for the Premier League in the season ahead, Speed said: "I've made no secret about wanting to go into it (management) eventually, but I'm 40 now and I've got a lot of time to do that.

"When I finished playing I had a couple of offers and looking back, I'm glad I didn't take them. I thought I might be ready then, but now I can see I obviously wasn't. I've learned so much on this (the management) side and the more time you spend on this side, learning stuff on and off the pitch, the better it is for the future.

"The club refused permission for me to talk to Swansea and that's fine - I'm under contract here, I respect the club's decision and that's it. I spoke to the Manager (Kevin Blackwell) and he was great with me, so that's it - it's forgotten now and I'm just concentrating on Sheffield United and the start of the season."

The Blades will start the season hoping it will be third time lucky as they try to reclaim the Premier League place they lost in 2008, Speed's penultimate campaign as a player following a distinguished career that saw him turn out for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers before arriving at Bramall Lane.

Now the holder of a Uefa Pro Licence and a burning ambition to succeed in management, the 85-times capped ex-winger is determined to help the Blades improve on their efforts of the last two seasons - they lost out in the 2009 Play-Off Final after finishing third, then ended last term in eighth place.

Speed said: "In the last two seasons we've challenged under difficult circumstances. Last year we lost a lot of players and had 20-odd new ones - 13 or 14 were loans, which is never really a good thing, but we still ended up just missing the Play-Offs.

"We've identified areas with the team where we can improve - our away form for instance - in order to give ourselves the best chance of promotion. If we can get some continuity and keep a settled side, which we didn't have last season because we had so many injuries, we feel we can definitely have a good shot."

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