Ironside hopes to get the wheels in motion on loan at Halifax, while McMahon admits United’s away form needs to improve

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Young Sheffield United striker Joe Ironside hopes to grow as a person and a player during a loan spell at Halifax Town.

Ironside, aged 20, signed on loan for the Conference Premier side until January 5, but is still eligible to play for United’s U21 side.

He scored for United’s development side in a 2-1 win over Coventry on Monday, and coach Chris Morgan made the trip to The Shay last Tuesday to watch Ironside’s debut in a 4-0 win over Hyde.

“I just need match practice,” Ironside said.

“But this loan spell will be a growing-up experience, too, which I think I need. I’ve been at United since the age of 11, so it’ll be a change of scenery and it will help me grow up.

“Strikers are judged on goals, and that’s what I want to do - play some games, score some goals and improve my all round game.”

Defender Tony McMahon, meanwhile, has revealed how United’s players have vowed to pick up their form away from home - starting with Saturday’s trip to Bristol City.

Like United, City have found life in League One difficult following their relegation from the Championship last term, and currently sit just outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

“We mentioned amongst ourselves before the game at Colchester [which United won 3-2], that we haven’t been good enough away from home,” McMahon said.

“We need to pick up points and move away from the relegation zone, there’s no getting away from that.

“I said a few weeks ago that we could still win the league, and I got a lot of stick for that, so I won’t be making targets like that anymore!

“We just have to take each game as it comes, and move on from setbacks - they’re in the past, so that’s all we can do.

“As a squad, we don’t look at blocks of games and think we can pick up points here or there - we just have to get out of the relegation zone.

“That is a must.”

United missed an opportunity to do just that on Saturday, as they slipped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Gillingham at Bramall Lane.

Chris Porter’s second goal in as many games was one of the few positives for United boss Nigel Clough, who is expected to once again use the tall striker to spearhead his attack at Ashton Gate.

Coaxing more goals out of his forward line will be one of Clough’s priorities - especially as centre-half Harry Maguire, with five goals, is United’s leading scorer so far this term.

“Harry’s been brilliant so far this season,” McMahon said.

“He’s been different class recently, and he’s been getting his rewards with the goals he’s been scoring.”

Midfield trio Jose Baxter, Conor Coady and Florent Cuvelier are all battling for a start against Sean O’ Driscoll’s City, after appearing for United’s development side against Coventry.

Manchester City loanee Harry Bunn scored United’s other goal on Monday.