Blades battle on after being bitten by the bug

James Wilson impressed at MK Dons: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
James Wilson impressed at MK Dons: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Several members of Sheffield United’s title-winning squad have been battling illness during the closing stages of the League One season, Alan Knill has revealed.

Centre-half Jake Wright was forced to miss last weekend’s victory over MK Dons after being taking unwell on the eve of the game and was subsequently placed in quarantine at the team hotel.

Alan Knill was pleased with Wilson's contribution. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Alan Knill was pleased with Wilson's contribution. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Knill, United’s assistant manager, praised the former Oxford defender’s replacement James Wilson before confirming Wright is not the only player to have been hit by the bug in recent weeks,

“Ill? It wouldn’t have happened to a centre-half in my day,” Knill said. “Joking aside, though, Jake is an old school defender and, because we’ve got another game, it was safer to leave him out. He was pretty ill. There’s been a bit of it going around, sore throats and stuff like that.”

Wilson celebrated his first outing since October by producing an assured performance at Stadium mk and could be rewarded with another appearance when Chesterfield visit Bramall Lane on Sunday. James Hanson, the former Bradford City striker, is also expected to be passed fit for United’s final match of the campaign following injury.

“Credit to James, he stepped up fantastically didn’t he,” Knill added. “I thought he was excellent. With James also coming back, we hope it’s going to be a full squad.”

James Hanson should return this weekend: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

James Hanson should return this weekend: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Wilson, aged 28, signed a two year contract with United in July and scored the goal which secured their first win of the new season earlier this term. Despite featuring only four times since that effort - against Oxford United at Bramall Lane - Knill was impressed by the way he adapted in Buckinghamshire.

“The majority of the time, the players at the back are always involved,” he said. “Bash (Chris Basham) and Jack (O’Connell) are always involved. The team has evolved over the season and the players have bought into it. Some of the stuff they play is excellent.”