Sheffield United: Nigel Clough may not go to market for defenders

Chris Basham in action against Port Vale on Saturday
Chris Basham in action against Port Vale on Saturday
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Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, could shelve his search for defensive reinforcements ahead of Thursday’s emergency loan deadline.

Clough made the announcement following last weekend’s victory over Port Vale after revealing that Jay McEveley’s damaged shoulder might not be as serious as initially feared while Terry Kennedy is closing to a return from injury.

With Chris Basham making his first appearance since suspension against Robert Page’s side Clough, who recently invited Derby County’s Shaun Barker to train at the Redtooth Academy, told The Star: “Yes, we looked last week but if everyone we already have here is going to be available soon then we might not bother going back in.

“We’ll be seeing how Jay is - we rested him out there because it would have been too much again - and Terry isn’t too far away now, fingers crossed.”

Clough, whose side remained fifth in the League One table ahead of tomorrow’s visit by Scunthorpe, added: “We’d identified a few possibilities but, ultimately, our primary focus is on the lads already here.”

Clough, who extended the invitation to Barker as part of his recovery from serious injury, paid tribute to McEveley’s courage after revealing the 30-year-old had required pain-killing injections before United’s recent visits to Glanford Park and Walsall.

“I take my hat off to Jay because I don’t think there are many people who could, or would, have done what he did,” Clough said. “He had a few jabs right before both games because that’s what he needed to get through.

“But he did admit that, in the middle of the night when the effects wore off, it was murder for him. And I can imagine it was too.”

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