Blades fight to keep on-loan duo

Npower League Division One ''Sheffield United vs MK Dons ''Utd's loan star Billy Clarke
Npower League Division One ''Sheffield United vs MK Dons ''Utd's loan star Billy Clarke

Danny Wilson has a ready formula for holding on to Blackpool loan pair Matt Phillips and Billy Clarke - keep them playing.

The Blades boss admits he is worried that their instant impact at Bramall Lane will alert Championship clubs to the rich pickings he has plundered from Bloomfield Road - not to mention the danger that Ian Holloway will want them back in December.

Npower League Division One ''Sheffield United vs MK Dons ''Utd's Loan Star Matt Phillips

Npower League Division One ''Sheffield United vs MK Dons ''Utd's Loan Star Matt Phillips

But Wilson’s ace card is that Phillips, scorer of three goals already, and Clarke, the architect of five, are enjoying simple pleasures.

“It’s always a concern that clubs higher up might be alerted,” he said. “But what’s the point of being with a Championship club and not playing?

“Blackpool are in control of the situation but if there’s any possibility of keeping them, we’ll try to do that. In the meantime, we’ll try to get as much out of them as we can.

“And if they’re not going back then they might as well stay here and play.”

Phillips, a pacy winger with a scoring touch, and Clarke, a quick and clever striker, have already done enough to make themselves fixtures in a side in fourth place and unbeaten five matches ahead of Exeter’s visit on Saturday.

Clarke, in particular, has endeared himself to Lane fans, even though he has yet to hit the target. “I feel sorry for him in that respect,” added Wilson following the 2-1 home win over MK Dons in midweek.

For the full story see this week’s Telegraph.