Sheffield United: Players set to return for Dundee clash

Diego De Girolamo will be sent for a scan on his knee
Diego De Girolamo will be sent for a scan on his knee
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Nigel Clough hopes to have a healthier squad in time for United’s next friendly on Friday night.

The Blades will welcome Scottish top flight side Dundee to Bramall Lane and Clough is confident a few of those faces who did not feature against Northampton Town on Tuesday will be ready to play on Friday.

Jamie Murphy, Neil Collins and Marc McNulty are all expected to play some part on Friday night with Ryan Flynn also pushing for game time.

Clough said: “We left a few out against Northampton, including Neill Collins, because they just had a few niggles but they should all come back for the match against Dundee.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry and there’s no point in taking any risks at this stage.

“None of them are serious or anything to worry about. The majority will be ok for Friday.

“Murphy should be ok and so should Collins.

“We’re hoping Marc McNulty should make his first appearance of pre-season on Friday night.

“Flynny might be ok for Friday but if not, it’ll be Tuesday (at home to Huddersfield) for him.

“James Wallace will be a little bit longer.

“We didn’t pick up any knocks at Northampton other than (trialist) Robbie Crawford, so that’s good.

“Robbie took a bit of a whack after only a few minutes to his side and it was very painful.

“That’s why he came off. He couldn’t really carry on.”

Clough is looking on the Dundee match as another chance to get minutes into his players before stepping up his pre-season preparations at home to Huddersfield on Tuesday night.

The Blades boss made wholesale changes between 60 and 70 minutes in the 1-1 draw at Northampton on Tuesday and plans to do the same on Friday.

He said: “The lads who didn’t start at Northampton will play 60 or 70 minutes and then we will build up to getting 90 minutes for some of them some time next week.

“Ben Davies had to play the full 90 minutes on Tuesday because we had to make an early chance. He’s a fit lad so he had no problem with that.

“Young JD Paling played 85 minutes but apart from him and Ben, everything went according to plan.”

Clough revealed 18-year-old Italian forward Diego De Girolamo will undergo a scan on a knee problem.

He said: “He felt a bit of pain after the Burton game so we’ve sent him to have it checked out.

“He just had a bit of discomfort and told us so this is the sensible thing to do.

“We think it might be something to do with his cartilage but we’ll have to wait and see on that.”