Jose Baxter faces an anxious wait to discover if Nigel Clough will award him an immediate recall following suspension, writes James Shield.
The Sheffield United midfielder is available for selection when Fleetwood Town visit South Yorkshire tomorrow. But, having expressed his frustration at the manner of Baxter’s sending-off against Coventry City three matches ago, Clough subsequently warned that further instances of ill-discipline could have serious consequences for Bramall Lane’s first team squad.
“It’s always important but never more so than at this stage of the season,” the United manager said. “In fact, it’s absolutely vital.
“There are enough demands being placed on the group regarding the number of games they are having to play at the moment without having more put on them.
“We don’t offer any guarantees about whether someone will play here. So, if you aren’t available for one reason or another, then there’s a real chance that you might have to wait to get back in.”
Nevertheless, Baxter’s hopes of facing Town appear to have been boosted by Clough’s disappointment at the contributions of substitutes Louis Reed and Jason Holt during Tuesday’s defeat by Peterborough. That result ended a six match unbeaten run and saw United fall 10 points behind second-placed Preston North End. They are five ahead of Chesterfield in seventh.
“There’s still a long way to go yet,” Clough said. “A lot of work to do.”