Sheffield United: Boss backs strike duo

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
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Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, has backed Michael Higdon and Marc McNulty to prove their worth in front of goal as his team prepare for tomorrow’s League One encounter at Swindon Town.

With injuries to Jose Baxter (hamstring), Jamal Campbell-Ryce (calf) and Jamie Murphy (dead leg) threatening to deplete the visitors’ attack, Clough confirmed McNulty, a summer signing from Livingston, could be set for a more prominent role after impressing during Tuesday’s win over Colchester.

That result stretched United’s unbeaten run in all competitions to six games and Clough said: “Marc is still making progress and settling in. We’ve not had to rely too much on him at the moment which means he’s been fresh when he’s come on but, with injuries elsewhere, he’s likely to be getting out there a little bit more now.”

United, who hope the results of a scan will allay fears that Baxter could be facing a lengthy absence, are set to assess Campbell-Ryce and Murphy before finalising their plans for the trip to Wiltshire.

Higdon, who has scored once in seven appearances since parting company with NEC Nijmegen last month, was substituted after 72 minutes at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

“Michael is still working on his fitness and, like all strikers, he’ll thrive on confidence,” Clough said. “He’s had a few opportunities and, when one of them goes in, that will do him the world of good.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1