Sheffield United: Tough guy Neill is up for the cup

Neill Collins should be declared fit for Saturday's FA Cup tie with Colchester
Neill Collins should be declared fit for Saturday's FA Cup tie with Colchester

Neill Collins is expected to start Saturday’s FA Cup first round tie against Colchester, Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has insisted, despite still bearing the scars of the head injury he sustained at Shrewsbury Town last week.

Collins failed to reappear for the second-half of the League One fixture with Graham Turner’s side when doctors proved unable to reduce a golf-ball sized swelling above an eye.

But Clough said: “Neill should be available because that’s the type of player he is. And, in any case, getting knocks like that is all part and parcel of being a centre-half.

“He’s got one hell of a shiner because of the haematoma above his eyebrow. Neill trained on Monday but he wasn’t able to head a ball however, come the weekend, we think he’ll be okay.”

Clough also used his pre-match media conference to confirm United have no fresh selection problems ahead of the visit to Essex although Febian Brandy is ineligible for selection after collecting his second red card of the season during the defeat at Greenhous Meadow. Cardiff City have granted permission for Simon Lappin to take part but United are still awaiting confirmation from Leeds about whether fellow loanee Aidy White can travel to the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Colchester are set to be without Jeffrey Monakana after his parent club Preston North End declared they did not want to winger to be cup tied while doubts surround the availability of several other high-profile members of Joe Dunne’s squad.

“We will put our best side out,” Clough said. “If there are changes then they won’t be to weaken the team, that’s for sure.

“They have got a few injuries so we’re unsure exactly how they will go. But the basic principles remain the same.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1