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Blades drop 'late' Paddy

PADDY Kenny's involvement in tomorrow's Championship fixture against Charlton is in doubt after Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell revealed the goalkeeper missed yesterday's draw with Wolves due to disciplinary reasons.

Blackwell, who also expressed fears that defender Ugo Ehiogu could miss the rest of the season after suffering an achilles injury at Molineux, refused to elaborate on the exact details behind Kenny's ommision.

But The Star understands that the Republic of Ireland international, who is attempting to secure a new contract with the South Yorkshire club, was dropped after reporting late for a training session on the eve of United's meeting with Mick McCarthy's side.

Blackwell must now decide whether to restore Kenny to the starting line-up as United prepare to entertain a team they beat 5-2 in London last month.

"It was an internal disciplinary situation," Blackwell, responding to questions about Kenny's surprise absence, said. "It's been dealt with and he's not travelled."

Ian Bennett, Kenny's replacement against Wolves, was powerless to prevent Neill Collins opening the scoring for the division's leaders but won praise for his performance despite seeing his team mates dominate for long spells after James Beattie levelled.

"Benno is a very capable 'keeper," Blackwell added. "He's come in and he's done well."

Despite dropping to eighth in the table, United will be encouraged by their display against opponents seemingly destined for promotion.

Even McCarthy, Blackwell's opposite number, described them as one of the most formidable propositions in the competition.

"Chris Morgan is a Premiership player, Gary Naysmith and Matthew Kilgallon likewise," he said.

"Stephen Quinn has played there too, Kyle Naughton hasn't but will be a Premiership player and Beattie is one of the most dangerous strikers. You've only got to look at the squad."

But concerns about Ehiogu's availability could force Blackwell to rethink his plans during the forthcoming transfer window if, as suspected, United's medical staff confirm he has ruptured a tendon.

"We think that's what he might have done but we're not sure yet," Blackwell said. "If he has then he could miss the rest of the season."

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