Sheffield United: Blades draw-up January battle-plan.

Stephen McGinn could return at Stevenage � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Stephen McGinn could return at Stevenage � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Sheffield United began applying the finishing touches to their plans for next month’s transfer window following last weekend’s victory over Swindon Town, writes James Shield.

United, who prepared for tomorrow’s visit to Stevenage 19th in the table after beating Mark Cooper’s side, are not expected to make wholesale changes when English football reopens for business on January 1.

However, manager Nigel Clough and his staff have identified several key areas of their squad in need of strengthening.

With centre-half Harry Maguire still the South Yorkshire club’s leading goalscorer after 20 rounds of competition, reinforcing an attack which has hit the target only seven times in League One this season is understood to be Clough’s top priority.

United, who were close to unveiling a new signing before the recent deadline for emergency loans, hope midfielder Stephen McGinn will be available for selection at the Lamex Stadium after missing the contest with Town due to a hamstring complaint.

“Stephen was very close to playing (against Swindon) but in the end we decided we didn’t want to take a risk with his fitness,” Clough said. “He should, unless anything be happens that is, be ready for our next match though.”

“We didn’t want to rush Stephen,” Clough added.

England C international Sam Wedgbury, who spent four years on United’s books before joining Macclesfield, could feature for 21st placed Stevenage after moving to Hertfordshire in May while striker Jordan Burrow is expected to start after netting twice during the recent 2-2 draw with Port Vale.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1