Nigel Clough hopes Sheffield United’s striker shortage will end this week as Marc McNulty and Michael Higdon edge towards a return to full training after injury.
Clough, speaking after his below-par United side drew with Oldham at Bramall Lane on Saturday, confirmed that both strikers were set to return to training today ahead of Friday’s League One clash against Notts County.
McNulty has been fitted with a mask to protect the facial injury he sustained after an incident in a Scottish nightclub, while Higdon was close to a return to training, after a hamstring injury, before Saturday’s 1-1 stalemate.
“We saw against Oldham how big a difference a striker can make, but we have two on the treatment table and we’re hoping to have them back for next Friday,” Clough said.
“Marc has been fitted for his mask and Michael was close to joining in with training late last week, so that’s a big positive for us.”
Jamal Campbell-Ryce rescued a point for United just minutes after coming on as a substitute, after Bramall Lane old-boy Jonathan Forte had given Oldham a deserved first-half lead.
Clough also insisted that United did not suffer from a hangover from the Ched Evans saga, which was brought to an end last week when the club withdrew their training offer to their former striker.
“We’ve always concentrated on football, and that has always been our focus all the way through,” Clough said. “We haven’t let anything off the field affect us and that wasn’t the reason for our poor performance at times on Saturday.”
Clough will redouble his efforts to sign a striker on loan before Thursday’s deadline, with Chris O’Grady and Dexter Blackstock known to feature on his wishlist.