Sheffield United: Billy won’t let the Blades get bullied

Billy Paynter is not afraid of confrontation � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Billy Paynter is not afraid of confrontation � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, believes Billy Paynter can prevent his team from being bullied back into the League One relegation zone, writes James Shield.

Paynter, signed on loan from Doncaster Rovers earlier this month, could make his full debut for United against Bradford City this weekend after impressing as a second-half substitute against Notts County.

And, outlining the qualities which convinced him to select the former Swindon Town and Leeds centre-forward from a long list of potential targets, Clough told The Star: “We need that nasty streak Billy brings. We’re quite a nice side at times and we want the opposition centre-halves knowing that, whatever else happens, they’ve been in a game.

“Billy is a proven goalscorer at this level. But he’s also got that ‘edge’ to his play.

“Don’t get me wrong, we want people to be sensible. We don’t want people picking-up yellow and red cards left right and centre.

“But Billy will give us a different dimension out there. Something for people to think about.”

United, 19th in the table, will be hoping to avoid a third consecutive defeat in the competition when City arrive at Bramall Lane following their 2-1 reverse at Meadow Lane three days ago.

Despite securing Paynter’s services until the end of the season, Clough is scouring the transfer market for more attacking reinforcements as he bids to lighten the load on Jose Baxter and Chris Porter.

“That’s an area we are looking at,” he said. “We could possibly bring in two or three more.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1