SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson hopes to be facing a welcome selection dilemma later this week as the South Yorkshire club continues its FA Cup campaign against Torquay.
Despite claims the tournament could prove a distraction as his squad battle to claw themselves out of League One, Wilson remains adamant that reaching the third round can only enhance their Championship credentials.
With Ched Evans in a sparkling run of form, the Bramall Lane crowd could be treated to the sight of the Wales international partnering James Beattie if United’s latest acquisition is passed fit to face Martin Ling’s side on Saturday.
With Chris Porter also vying for a starting role, competition for places in Wilson’s attack is likely to become even more fierce should Richard Cresswell fully recover from the stomach bug which forced him to withdraw from the recent victory over Chesterfield.
“I can’t think of a bad game to win but I can think of plenty of bad ones to lose,” said Wilson.
“I don’t agree with the school of though that you have to chose between the cups or the league. I hear what people say and they’re entitled to their opinion but it doesn’t mean everyone else has to agree.
“Everyone wants to get into a winning habit and mentality.
“If you do well in the cups then it can help create a really good atmosphere around the place or improve the one you’ve got even more.
“And, being perfectly honest, there is also the financial aspect of it too.
“Why do you think that everyone, like us, who came in at the first-round stage will admit that at the very least
their target is to reach the third round?”
Despite the fanfare and furore surrounding Beattie’s arrival, Wilson has given little away during discussions about when the striker will let off the leash.
Intriguingly, however, he appeared to raise the possibility that the former England marksman could make a cameo appearance against Torquay by suggesting that “giving James a run-out against lower opposition” would be the ideal way to ease him back into the game following a six-month absence.
“What we don’t want,” warned Wilson, “Is for James to come back too early and then for us to lose him again.
“It goes without saying that we want to use him as quickly as we possibly can but we also have to be sensible and thorough.”
According to Wilson, Cresswell should be available to face opponents who beat Chesterfield 3-1 at the b2net stadium in the previous round.
“Cressy wasn’t feeling well and so that’s why he didn’t take part,” said Wilson.
“We’re pretty sure he should be okay for our next game. Although these bugs and viruses can be very nasty, they often can clear up pretty quickly.
“We’re very hopeful that Cressy should be okay now.”
Meanwhile, a framed shirt from Doncaster Rovers and former United striker Billy Sharp, match tickets for the region’s leading clubs and signed footballs are among the items being auctioned in South Anston tonight.
Money raised will be donated to the teenage cancer unit at Weston Park Hospital.
Rovers goalkeeping coach Lee Butler, whose daughter, Gracie, is being treated for the disease, has helped to organise the event in the Leeds Arms pub between 7pm and 10pm.