Blades boss set for FA Cup boost

Nigel Clough at Port Vale
Nigel Clough at Port Vale
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Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough could receive a welcome boost ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup third round trip to Queens Park Rangers, with the return to fitness of right-back Craig Alcock.

Alcock, a summer signing from Peterborough United, has missed the last five weeks of United’s season with a back injury but could return to the squad which travels to Loftus Road to face the Premier League side.

Alcock’s return would relieve a major headache for Clough, who had to play fourth-choice right-back Harrison McGahey in United’s Boxing Day defeat to Port Vale with understudies Ryan Flynn and Ben Davies both also missing through injury.

“Harrison struggled against Port Vale but it’s very unusual to lose three first-choice right backs,” said Clough, who saw Sunday’s home clash against Scunthorpe called off because of the Sheffield snow.

“Craig had half an hour training on Christmas Eve, and he’s done a bit since so he was due to be involved against Scunthorpe.

“We’re very happy with Craig and Ryan, who was outstanding before he got injured.

“We’re hoping that Craig comes back in a bit of form after his absence but as long as we have either him or Ryan, we’ll be okay.”