Sheffield United are expected to name Billy Paynter in their starting eleven for tomorrow’s League One encounter at Crewe Alexandra, writes James Shield.
But Nigel Clough, the visitors’ manager, has refused to rule-out the possibility of pairing Paynter with Chris Porter in attack despite initially claiming his arrival from Doncaster Rovers was designed to “lighten the load” on the former Motherwell and Derby County centre-forward’s shoulders.
With Paynter ineligible for last weekend’s FA Cup tie with Fulham, the postponement of Wednesday’s game against Peterborough means he has played only 93 minutes of football since arriving at Bramall Lane on loan earlier this month.
“Billy is available for our league matches,” Clough said. “He brings something different to the table for us and will prove to be a valuable addition.
“He’ll be able to lighten the loan on Chris. Can they play together? That’s something we’ll take a good look at in training but there shouldn’t be any reason why not.”
With Michael Doyle serving the first of a three match ban, Clough must also reshuffle United’s options in midfield with Stephen McGinn and Conor Coady both vying to fill the void created by the captain’s absence
“We’ll miss Michael’s experience because we’re quite young in there,” Clough said. “But with Michael missing it gives someone else an opportunity. They’ve got ability and so that’s their challenge to step-up.”
Clough confirmed on Tuesday that Porter should be available for selection despite receiving treatment to “loosen” a hamstring following the draw against Fulham.