Sheffield United: Chris quashes crisis talk

Sheffield United coach Chris Morgan � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Sheffield United coach Chris Morgan � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Chris Morgan has quashed fears Sheffield United are facing a selection crisis at the heart of defence ahead of today’s crucial League One fixture at Swindon Town, writes James Shield.

With Harry Maguire beginning a two match suspension, the visitors enter their meeting with Mark Cooper’s side knowing that Matt Hill, the former England under-21 international’s preferred deputy at centre-half, could also be ruled-out through injury.

But Morgan, whose coaching responsibilities include organising United’s rearguard, told The Star that Hill will be given “every opportunity” to declare himself fit.

“We had a look at Matty before training and we’ll be having a look at him again before the game,” Morgan said last night. “There’s a chance he might be available and, ideally, he is the person who would come in for Harry but, if Matty can’t, then we’ve got other people capable of doing a job there.”

John Brayford, on-loan from Cardiff City, is understood to be the player earmarked to partner Neill Collins should Hill’s hamstring fail to respond to treatment. Despite being predominantly deployed at full-back, Brayford provided emergency central defensive cover at his former club Derby County.

United travelled to Wiltshire 10th in the table after bouncing back from last weekend’s defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers with a victory at Crawley Town in midweek.

That result left Clough’s side seven points behind sixth-placed Peterborough who face Chesterfield in tomorrow’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.

“I thought that result (at Crawley) spoke volumes about the lads’ attitude,” Morgan said. “When you are on a good run there is pressure but, when it comes to an end as our one did against Wolves, often you see players relax a bit and get comfortable.

“That didn’t happen with these lads though.”