Sheffield United: Tony granted time off

Out: Tony McMahon.  � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Out: Tony McMahon. � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Chris Morgan has insisted it would be foolish to gamble with Tony McMahon’s fitness ahead of Sheffield United’s League One play-off campaign, writes James Shield.

Morgan, the South Yorkshire club’s manager, delivered his verdict ahead of tonight’s visit to Crewe Alexandra after confirming McMahon has undergone a procedure aimed at curing a persistent Achilles injury.

The former Middlesbrough defender limped-out of last weekend’s defeat at Portsmouth and, with that result ending United’s automatic promotion hopes, Morgan said: “Tony will be available to face Crewe but it would be daft to use him. There are other people who can play and there are people within the squad who arguably need to play too.

“Tony has been to see someone to have a jab in it. He’s had the problem for a while and he’s been having treatment on it.

“In fairness to the lad, he’s someone who would carry on regardless and want to be involved.”

United, who are assured of a top six finish irrespective of results against Crewe or Preston North End this weekend, will contest the first leg of their play-off semi-final on either the 4th or 3rd of May. However, Morgan’s side are likely to be handed the latter slot if that match is at Bramall Lane because Sheffield Wednesday host Middlesbrough the following day.

The return legs take place on May 6 with the final scheduled for Wembley on May 19 (kick-off 1.30pm).

“We want Tony to be ready,” Morgan said. “Without question.”

*Twitter: JamesShield1