Sheffield United: Boss boosted by Craig’s return

Sheffield United defender Craig Alcock is fit again after injury � copyright : Blades Sports Photography

Sheffield United defender Craig Alcock is fit again after injury � copyright : Blades Sports Photography

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Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough last night welcomed Craig Alcock’s return to fitness after acknowledging his team’s season has entered a critical phase, writes James Shield.

Alcock could feature in the starting eleven following an eight week absence when United, who are sixth in the League One table, visit fellow promotion contenders MK Dons this afternoon.

Acknowledging Wednesday evening’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at Tottenham Hotspur will also prove a test of mental and physical challenge for his squad, Clough said: “The more people we have available the better because of the number of hugely important games we’ve got coming-up.

“We are going to have to change things about a little bit here and there. I’ve got no doubts about that because of what these games are going to demand of the lads.”

Ryan Flynn has impressed since being deployed as a makeshift full-back while Alcock battled to overcome a back complaint.

“Ryan has done ever so well there and so Craig can’t just expect to automatically come back in,” Clough said. “He’s knows he’s got a fight on his hands for that spot.

“But Ryan has shown he can pick up knocks and there’s a really busy schedule coming up. So knowing that Craig is ‘good-to-go’ means we can relax a little bit because that’s been a problem position.”

United will again be without the suspended Chris Basham at stadium:mk but the summer signing from Blackpool is eligible for the trip to White Hart Lane and also next weekend’s FA Cup tie at Preston North End.

Twitter: @JamesShield1

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