Slew lifeline

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Micky Adams last night predicted the partnership between Darius Henderson and Jordan Slew could keep Sheffield United’s hopes of npower Championship survival alive when they face Reading this afternoon.

The Blades must match Crystal Palace’s result against Leeds to retain a mathematical chance of avoiding relegation following Saturday’s victory over Bristol City. Although United remained bottom of the table, Slew’s second goal in as many matches moved them to within six points of safety with three games left to play.

Henderson, who recently returned from serious injury, was goaded by large sections of the home crowd throughout the 3-2 triumph.

But having seen him create Slew’s late winner, Adams said: “It’s like getting a new girlfriend. You have to learn what each other likes and dislikes and that always takes time. It doesn’t happen straight away.

“But I think Jordan is showing signs of forging a good understanding with Darius out there. It’s developing well and it should keep on getting better the more time they spend together.”

Asked whether United still believe they can claw themselves out of danger, the United manager added: “We’ve never talked about it. Listen, nobody in the dressing room is daft or stupid. We all know the situation that we’re in. So all we can do is keep on going and keep on believing until someone tells us otherwise.

“There’s nothing to be gained from giving-up. I certainly won’t be and I don’t expect anyone else will be either.”

Adams also praised young midfielder David McAllister who marked his full-debut with a ferocious first-half strike.

“David had lots of adrenalin and I thought his all-round game was terrific. He was positive, won his tackles and was good with his passing.

“But all 14 lads who took part helped us to win that. Every single one of them.”

Palace, who are 21st, aim to frustrate United’s arch-rivals at Selhurst Park.

“The main thing in this division is not to get beat,” manager Dougie Freedman said.