IF Father Christmas is spotted flying around Shirecliffe in March next year there’s a good chance he’ll be delivering Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson a very late present.
Inside the very no-nonsense wrapping will be closest thing to Scrooge that the red-and-white-wearing gift-giver from Lapland has ever had on his sleigh - Chris Morgan.
Now, Morgan is a brilliant bloke and a family man par excellence, but his frugal approach to the business of not giving his opponent the proverbial inch is why Wilson will be hoping that the festive period re-surfaces in spring.
His captain is an inspirational figure on and off the pitch. It’s cliched to say that he’s a leader of men, but if Morgan said Happy Christmas to you at Easter you’d quickly return the compliment in kind before checking your calendar.
And that is why the Blades boss is so excited about the possibility of the 34-year-old centre-half making a comeback later in the season.
A serious knee injury ruled him out for the majority of the last campaign and all of the current one so far, but Morgan is a determined character and will be looking to contribute as a player rather than a coach when his team needs him most.
Wilson revealed that Morgan is still a long way from fitness but would represent the perfect ‘new’ signing should he be available for selection.
He said: “He’s still not doing full training yet. He’s doing bits and bobs to get his knee back into some kind of flexibility, but he isn’t joining in with the lads yet. It’d be great if he could come in at the end of the season. If we got Morgs fit for the last few months, what a signing that would be.”
The likelihood is slim but a tantalising possibility.
He said: “I’d like to think so (that Morgan can be fit). I don’t see why not. No-one would be more disappointed than Chris himself.
“I think that when no-one can sign anyone and we’re going into the final throes of the season, and we have our club captain coming back, I think it would be a massive boost for everybody.”
When it comes to looking at positions to strengthen in January, though, Wilson won’t gamble on Morgan being available.
He said: “We’re not looking at him being available at all. We’ve planned for him not being available all season; we’re hoping that we get a late Christmas present.”
If Morgan was playing regularly there would be no doubts how he’d conduct himself over the festive period. Wilson says that he’s equally unconcerned with how the rest of his squad will prepare for Tuesday’s match with Notts County.
He said: “I’m happy being at home. The players nowadays - not just at this football club - are very responsible. They know exactly how they need to prepare.
“If they don’t prepare well you can tell straight away. You don’t treat them like children. With a bit of luck we’ll have a cracking game.”