Sheffield United: Blades star warms up for return

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IF, as seems likely, he comes in from the cold then Darryl Westlake can probably expect a hot reception back at his old club Walsall this weekend.

The young defender, just 22, looks set to be the natural replacement for Tony McMahon at right back when Sheffield United go to the Bescot Stadium on Saturday.

Westlake turned down the offer of a new contract at Walsall in the summer to opt for Bramall Lane instead and so there is unlikely to be a warm embrace if he gets Danny Wilson’s nod.

When McMahon wasn’t in the side earlier in the season, Westlake came in for him in the right back spot. The only other alternative would appear to be Danny Higginbotham but he is naturally left-sided.

In any event, a return to his former club should help give Westlake some added inspiration.

McMahon’s tenth booking of the season on Monday means he misses Saturday’s game and next Tuesday’s home game with Crawley.

Midfielder Kevin McDonald remains on the brink of a two-match ban and he needs to avoid one more caution in the next three matches and would then reach the April 14 ‘amnesty’ deadline.

Boss Wilson will have to check out left back Matt Hill who came off with double vision at half-time against Carlisle.

“Hopefully he’ll be okay,” said Wilson. “He saw out the half but had to come off. But we had Danny Higginbotham who, as everyone knows, is a quality player.”

Wilson said they ‘took a bit of a risk’ with Jamie Murphy who had been out with a hamstring injury and went on at half-time.

“We felt it was one worth taking, we wanted to give ourselves options off the bench,” said the Blades manager.

“He seems to have come through okay and we’re delighted to have him back. He did well I thought.”