DANNY Wilson, the Sheffield United manager, has refused to confirm whether captain Nick Montgomery will return to his starting 11 against leaders Charlton Athletic this afternoon.
Montgomery declared himself available for selection nearly two weeks ahead of schedule after sustaining an ankle injury during August’s visit to Yeovil Town.
Wilson, who watched the midfielder complete 90 minutes of Wednesday’s Central League fixture with Walsall, said: “Monty seems fine, even though he took quite a heavy blow during that match.
“The good thing is that he’s been in and around the dressing room all the time he’s been out so having him back is going to be a great incentive for both himself and the other players in the team.
“It will drive them all on and that can only be a good thing for Sheffield United.”
Wilson added: “It’s not just the game time people need when they’ve been out, it’s the actual situation of being back in a real match and having to make decisions in that environment as well.
“You need that, as everyone will say if they’ve been absent for a bit, to get completely up to speed.”
United slipped to third following last weekend’s shock defeat at Wycombe Wanderers. But had Michael Doyle not delivered a series of effective displays, Wilson would not have enjoyed the luxury of being able to grant United’s longest-serving player extra recovery time.
Montgomery, who travelled to Adams Park, echoed those sentiments, saying: “I was told I’d be out for a minimum of six to eight weeks so I was pretty happy to get back training after three.
“The gaffer has got decisions to make.
“We’ve got quite a small squad but it’s a strong squad and when the games come thick and fast competition for places is healthy at any club.
“It’s what you need.”