Sheffield United: Duo won’t hold back despite ban threat

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TONY McMahon and Kevin McDonald will not be ordered to curb their competitive instincts, Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson has revealed, despite being only a booking away from suspension, writes James Shield.

Wilson made the admission ahead of today’s League One fixture at Stevenage, which could see the visitors wrestle top spot from Doncaster Rovers if they beat Gary Smith’s side.

McDonald and McMahon, an integral part of a United defence which has kept six consecutive clean sheets, will both serve two match bans if they are cautioned again before next month’s rearranged fixture with Crawley Town.

Wilson said: “It won’t affect how they go about their business. They’ve just got to get on with it.

“You saw last week (against MK Dons) that Tony was in the middle of everything. There was a confrontation between him and (Shaun) Williams when their lad got away with catching him in the face and Tony reacted.

“He got away without a booking there but you can’t tell the lads concerned to hold back. Especially as you can get booked for anything these days.

“It just depends on the referee.”

“You can get booked with some for just blowing your nose now,” added Wilson. “It’s ridiculous.

“We saw the other night on the telly when a player kicked a ball into a hoarding and it came straight back on and he got a card.

“You can even get them for celebrating with your own fans. So there’s nothing we can tell them but of course we do hope they keep their noses clean.”

Despite urging McDonald, the former Scotland under-21 midfielder, and McMahon to focus on their respective games rather than the match officials, Wilson acknowledged United’s coaching staff do have “one eye on the situation that might develop.”

That includes surveying the transfer market for potential loan signings although the 53-year-old, whose side are second in the table and unbeaten in seven outings, said: “We’ve got players here who can come in. It would affect us to a degree because those two are playing very well but we’ve got good players waiting for a chance.”

“We’re always looking at loans because you don’t want to get caught short. You don’t want to get caught with your pants down.

“We’ve had some games postponed and the weather has made the situation more delicate so it’s a priority for us in that respect. We’ve got a busy end to the season.”

*Twitter: JamesShield1