Sheffield United: Marc gets pat on the back from Nigel

Marc McNulty scores his penalty during last weekend's draw with Crawley Town � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
Marc McNulty scores his penalty during last weekend's draw with Crawley Town � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
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Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has praised Marc McNulty’s professionalism ahead of tonight’s crucial League One encounter against Peterborough at Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.

Despite scoring 12 goals in 37 appearances since arriving from Livingston during the close season, McNulty has started six of United’s last seven games on the bench following the emergence of Jamie Murphy and Matt Done.

Although Clough refused to offer any guarantees about his future role - “There’s no such thing at this club” - he told The Star the 22-year-old’s attitude has been exemplary in recent weeks.

“There is no such thing as a wasted opportunity,” Clough said. “And, looking at Marc’s recent performances, that’s something he’s clearly understands.

“Even if you’re a substitute, there is still the chance for you to learn. You can watch your team mates and see the things they do, good or bad, and although we don’t provide a running commentary, listen to what the coaching staff are saying as the game itself unfolds.

“It’s all part of the learning process.”

United enter this evening’s contest fifth in the table and searching for a fifth win in seven outings following their draw at Crawley Town three days ago.

McNulty, who scored their equaliser from the penalty spot, was also on target against Rochdale four days earlier and Clough added: “It was an exceptional finish from Marc and there aren’t many players around who could have executed that with the ease he did.

“We know he can finish but, equally, there are always others areas where you can look to improve. He took the penalty well and it was also a good pass to Matt which brought the foul.”

United expected to be without Terry Kennedy this evening after the defender injured his knee at the Checkatrade.com Stadium. But goalkeeper Mark Howard could feature on the bench after resuming training following a back complaint.

“It’s still a little bit early to know exactly what Terry has done,” Clough said. “Obviously he has a history of problems there but he was able to carry on for a while which should be a positive sign.

“We’ll just have to wait until the joint settles down, as it were, a little bit before we discover what the diagnosis is. Then we can decide on the right course of treatment.”

Twitter: @JamesShield1

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