Sheffield United: Blades set to unleash Stefan

Stefan Scougall (right) should feature against Gillingham tomorrow � copyright :  BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Stefan Scougall (right) should feature against Gillingham tomorrow � copyright : BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, is poised to recall Stefan Scougall for tomorrow’s visit of Gillingham, writes James Shield.

Scougall was omitted from the squad which overcame Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup earlier this week as medical staff ease him back into action following a troublesome knee complaint.

But the Scotland under-21 international, who has featured in two of United’s last three games, as well as playing 45 minutes of an under-21 fixture against Sheffield Wednesday, expects to regain his place in United’s first team squad for the fixture with Peter Taylor’s side.

“Stefan has had a lot of football since coming back in,” Clough explained. “We don’t want to place too heavy a burden on him straight away which is why we left him out down there.

“But there’s nothing wrong with him. Everything is fine, we were just being careful and Stefan understands that because we also have a very busy schedule coming up.

“That’s something we also have to take into account at the moment as well.”

United, who were paired with MK Dons in the fourth round draw after Michael Higdon’s goal secured their progress at the Matchroom Stadium, are 10th in the League One table but only three points behind Karl Robinson’s second placed team and with a game in hand on Peterborough in third.

Midfielder James Wallace is available for selection against Gillingham after reporting no ill-effects following his outing in the capital. The former Tranmere Rovers captain has been nursing a groin injury.

“James’ problem wasn’t related to the one which had bothered him earlier in the season,” Clough said. “It was the other side of his groin and, to be honest, when you’ve been out for a while it’s almost inevitable that you pick up little niggles here and there. It’s frustrating for the player but we were ready for that.

“James has worked really hard behind the scenes to get ready and in the best possible shape for the games. That’s good to see.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1