SHEFFIELD UNITED: Clough steps up striker hunt

Chris O'Grady
Chris O'Grady
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The Blades will step up their attempts to sign a striker on loan ahead of Saturday’s derby against Doncaster, with Chris O’Grady still Nigel Clough’s number one target.

United boss Clough, who hopes to persuade former Sheffield Wednesday striker O’Grady to make the step down to League One from Championship side Brighton, made the admission after last night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Walsall.

United tumbled out of the competition 1-0 after Michael Doyle diverted Romaine Sawyers’ effort into his own net and Clough, left incredulous after Chris Porter was denied a second-half penalty, said: “We’re close to a striker... one target was thinking about joining yesterday, and we hope to get a decision today ahead of Saturday’s derby.

“Ideally it’ll come before the weekend but if not, we have Jose Baxter and Jamie Murphy who can play there. I think once we get one goal, we’ll get two or three but it’s about getting that first. It’ll come sooner or later.”

Clough added: “Saturday is a good game for us to get back to it, after this disappointment. We’d rather be at home but we’re due a result in a local game, after struggling at Chesterfield and losing at home to Barnsley. But if we play as we have done prior to last night, then we’ll be fine.”

Marc McNulty, who sustained a facial injury after an altercation in an Edinburgh nightclub, will wear a protective mask when he makes his comeback in “two or three weeks”.

“It’s in the doctor’s hands, but he’ll come back with a mask on like so many players do these days and he’ll be back as soon as he can be.”