Sheffield United: Jose set to discover his fate

Jose Baxter has been absent from the matchday squad since Sheffield United's game against Shrewsbury Town �2015 Sport Image all rights reserved
Jose Baxter has been absent from the matchday squad since Sheffield United's game against Shrewsbury Town �2015 Sport Image all rights reserved
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Sheffield United must decide whether to end Jose Baxter’s exile from the first team squad over the festive period or continue to overlook the former Everton midfielder.

Baxter has missed United’s last four games after being punished for a breach of discipline earlier this month.

Although the 23-year-old suffered a minor injury during last month’s game against Shrewsbury Town, he is believed to have been declared available for selection before the recent fixtures with Coventry City and Scunthorpe but failed to make the team sheet.

Adkins, acknowledging the Christmas schedule will place huge demands on his team, said: “It’s going to be tough for everybody, including us, because the turnaround between (matches) is so small.”

Together with Jamal Campbell-Ryce and fellow Liverpudlian James Wallace, Baxter is regarded as one of the most gifted players at United’s disposal. Adkins, whose side are ninth, acknowledged as much soon after taking charge in June but, despite his relaxed demeanour, is known to have implemented a strict code of conduct behind the scenes. Che Adams, who is suspended for this afternoon’s visit to Wigan Athletic, was dropped for a game against Burton Albion earlier this term after failing to meet Adkins’ exacting standards.

Campbell-Ryce could also feature at the DW Stadium while Florent Cuvelier, the former Belgium under-21 international, is fit after recovering from injury. Bob Harris will undergo a test.