A LEADER on and off the pitch, Chris Morgan has been sorely missed by Sheffield United.
Honest and uncompromising, the centre-back relishes a battle.
Given the club’s perilous league position in the Championship, his organisational skills and ability to lead from the front would have been a major asset to United as they look to pull off the great escape.
However, Morgan’s season came to a premature end in November when he damaged his cruciate knee ligaments in the defeat to Coventry City. He is unlikely to return to action until next season. By that point, United could be in a different division.
The 33-year-old, a strong presence in the Bramall Lane dressing room, says injuries to senior players have not helped the club’s cause.
“If any team in the league were to lose four or five important players, it would affect them,” he told The Star. “It is easy to criticise players but you have to realise that some people are not natural leaders. Some players are not talkers so it is difficult to ask them to start doing it.
“We lost Monty (Nick Montgomery) for a month and we have missed Darius (Henderson), who when he’s fit and flying is arguably the best striker in the league, too.
“It has been difficult because we have had so many key players out. When you lose the characters out of your team, it does affect you.
“I think to lose four or five players all at once has killed us at times.”
After the team’s horror showing at Watford, Micky Adams’ side are looking to get back to winning ways at home to Leeds United on Saturday.
“The players are definitely up for the fight,” said Morgan. “I have noticed that in them and that is one thing they do have. People can criticise the players for not being good enough at times in games but they can’t knock the lads’ effort. It is going to be a full house against Leeds.
“The atmosphere is always great at Bramall Lane when the away end is full. It is a cracking game for us. We have got nothing to lose.
“We know people are writing us off but we have to stay strong. I’m sure the lads can’t wait for Saturday especially after the disappointment of the weekend.
“I’m sure they will be looking forward to a home game in front of a big crowd and getting stuck into it.”
Morgan, who has been given the green light by the surgeon to start running again in six weeks time, said: “The lads will keep going and give it everything until it is mathematically impossible.
“There is a togetherness and self belief in the camp and whenever you’ve got that, you’ve always got a chance.”
Chris Morgan was speaking on behalf of an initiative between 188BET and Top Up TV, who are offering British fans three months of top class sporting action on ESPN for free.
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