Sheffield United: Fear factor spurs on Hill

United left-back Matt Hill.
United left-back Matt Hill.
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Defender Matt Hill claims the fear of being dropped in the Sheffield United camp can aid their survival battle

The 32-year-old was left out of the starting line-up against home-town club Bristol City last weekend, with manager Nigel Clough preferring Aidy White in the left-back position.

However, Hill returned to the starting line-up on Tuesday night as Clough asked the left-sided player to deputise at centre-back for the suspended Harry Maguire.

“The manager is keeping everyone on their toes,” he said. “No-one is safe in terms of playing.

“Everybody has got to work hard on the training ground. We know can’t look too far ahead. We have got to make sure we are performing as we want to be in the manager’s plans in the future.”

Hill, who has played 13 times this season, could revert to left-back at Leyton Orient tomorrow should Simon Lappin not shrug off an ankle problem. If Lappin is ruled out, Clough may switch White to left wing.

Hill said he enjoyed playing alongside Neill Collins at the heart of United’s rearguard. “I am comfortable in that position and Neill is good to play alongside,” he said. “I was happy to play considering I didn’t play at Bristol.

“It was important for me to come in and do well and give the gaffer a problem. Hopefully, fingers crossed, I will start on Saturday.”

Hill is convinced United are moving in the right direction under Clough.

“Once we are out of the danger zone, I’m sure the pressure that we have on our shoulders will come off and the players will start to express themselves and things might become a little rosier,” he added.