Montgomery ready to answer the call

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SHEFFIELD United could accelerate Nick Montgomery’s return from injury in an effort to alleviate the pressure on their threadbare defence, assistant manager Frank Barlow has confirmed.

Montgomery, who has missed the club’s last two games due to a calf problem, had been expected to complete his rehabilitation at the end of the week ahead of Saturday’s visit to Brentford.

But with Harry Maguire and Matthew Lowton both ruled out of tonight’s match at Walsall through suspension, coaching staff will consider deploying the midfielder as a makeshift full-back.

“He’s got a chance,” Barlow said. “Ideally we’d leave Monty for a bit longer but his experience and the fact that he’s played that role before means he could come in.”

Marcus Williams, a transfer window signing from Reading, also completed yesterday’s training session after recovering from a back complaint.

“Marcus could also become available,” Barlow added. “But we need to see if he has any type of reaction first.”

Lowton and Maguire have both been handed one game bans after being sent-off during Saturday’s 3-2 defeat by Oldham.

Fellow defender Lecsinel Jean-Francois, who was carried-off on a stretcher following an accidental clash with Maguire and Oldham striker Shefki Kuqi, is still awaiting the results of a scan designed to reveal the exact nature and extent of his knee injury.

“It’s still too early to say how long he’s going to be out or what he’s done,” Barlow said. “But when you see someone go off on a stretcher it’s highly unlikely they’ll be ready a few days later.

“It’s not impossible but it’s unlikely.”