He's a tough man to Beat!

JAMES Beattie is the most effective member of Sheffield United's first-team squad, according to the latest figures released by Actim Index. Goals against Ipswich Town and Plymouth Argyle saw Beattie add 49 points to his overall Actim total which is calculated by marking various different facets of the game.

Beattie is now ranked 45th in the division overall with defender Matthew Kilgallon the next highest United player in 99th.

Meanwhile, Kyle Naughton has been cleared to play for Gretna when they travel to Aberdeen this afternoon.

Together with Barnsley's Rhys Meynell, who is also on loan at the Scottish Premier League outfit, the Sheffield United defender is available for selection because his parent club have covered insurance payments.

Gretna were placed into administration on Wednesday and are now being run by Sheffield based insolvency experts Wilson Field.

"Kyle is able to take part," Mick Wadsworth, Gretna's director of football, told The Star.

Wadsworth is expected to include several members of Gretna's academy in his squad at Pittodrie but Naughton's position means he is expected to remain north of the border until the situation is finally resolved.

Even if, as is now almost certain, they are able to survive beyond the weekend, the long-term prognosis maintains bleak for Gretna, whose rapid rise from the Third Division to the SPL was funded by an input of around 8 million by Brooks Mileson.

However, with their main benefactor battling serious illness, Gretna are facing extinction.

Several consortiums have expressed interest in a takeover, including agent Paul Davies and his partners at Hume International.

Wilson Field's David Elliot said: "The players will need to consider their position - until March 27 there is the opportunity to move to another club.

"I can't stand in their way morally, ethically or legally.

"I was impressed with their loyalty and the way they want to keep the football playing.

"I don't want to do something that would exclude any interested parties but I have to think about other creditors who have not been paid."


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