Blades boss to make call on defender

Craig Alcock has joined Doncaster Rovers on loan from neighbouring Sheffield United.

Craig Alcock has joined Doncaster Rovers on loan from neighbouring Sheffield United.

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Nigel Adkins has confirmed he will take a decision on Craig Alcock’s future at Bramall Lane when his loan at Doncaster Rovers expires next month.

The Sheffield United manager allowed Alcock to sign a temporary agreement with Darren Ferguson’s side before last night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at Fleetwood Town.

And, speaking after his team bowed-out of the tournament on penalties, Adkins told The Star: “Craig’s contract is up here at the end of the season and so he needs to be playing games. He’s going there for a month and then we’ll decide what happens after that. It would be wrong to read too much or anything into this but we aren’t ruling anything in or out.”

Adkins sanctioned Alcock’s departure after fellow defender John Brayford received the all-clear to take part in United’s under-21 game against Leeds in eight days time. Brayford has not made a first team appearance since damaging knee ligaments during the League One play-off semi-finals last season.

“We’ve got lots of options in that position and John isn’t too far away now,” Adkins said. “All things being well, he’ll play in the cup match we’ve got at our ground next week and we’ll look to continue building him up after that. That’s the process but he’s making progress which is good to see.”

Adkins, who named both James Wallace and Jay McEveley in United’s starting eleven for the Northern Area quarter-final at Highbury, acknowledged Louis Reed could be a doubt for Saturday’s league fixture with Southend.

“Louis came off after sustaining a really nasty gash to his ankle,” Adkins said. “He’ll need stitches in it, then we’ll see how he is and take things from there. It was good to see James and Jay playing again after their own injuries but, ultimately, it was a disappointing night because we wanted to win the game.”