Nigel Clough says Jamie Murphy and Jose Baxter have set an example to all players who think they should be in the team but are on the outside waiting for a chance.
The Sheffield United manager has praised the attitude of both players who have subsequently earned themselves a starting role since Clough came in towards the end of October.
“Jamie was not involved in the first few weeks I was here buit he has fought his way back into the squad and into contention,” said Clough.
“Jose has been the same and both have been a great example to anyone who thinks they are not getting a chance or whatever... look at what they have done, how hard they have worked during training and in games and then you will get your chance.”
United have scored in four of their last five games and Baxter has netted in all those four. Murphy - who scored in the FA Cup win at Cambridge United - netted his first league goal in Sunday’s win over Tranmere.
“Jamie will take plenty from scoring at the weekend whilst Jose is playing slightly differently, we’re giving him freedom but players like him can operate in different way.
“He can play in a two up front but at times you want him helping out our midfielders but he’s intelligent enough to see that in certain situations he has to adapt.”
Murphy acknowledges it has been “an up and down” season for him.
“I got injured and didn’t get straight back in which was something unusual for me,” says the Scottish winger. “But I feel more settled now and I hope to kick on.”
Meanwhile, Clough says that today’s trip to Walsall represents the biggest test yet in the eight match unbeaten run.
“We want to keep it going but each game in an unbeatemn run gets harder,” he said.
“We’ve been a little bit up and down in performance. Excellent at Stevenage; not so good against Oldham; very good against Tranmere, so we will try to achieve a bit more consistency.
“But a good thing is that when we haven’t been at our best, we haven’t lost and that is important.
“Walsall is probably as big a test as we’ve had in this (unbeaten) run. They are a good side and caused us problems when we played them here (it finished 1-1),” added Clough who has missed out on an attempt to bring in Alan Judge from Blackburn Rovers. The midfielder is going elsewhere.
He said he was contemplating a change... “they won’t be wholesale but may be one or two to get some fresh legs in there,” added the United manager.