Nigel Clough presents a case for Sheffield United’s defence as Paddy McCarthy and Chris Basham cause a welcome selection headache

Chris Basham
Chris Basham

Nigel Clough admits that Chris Basham’s purple patch of form, coupled with the return of loan star Paddy McCarthy, has left him with a welcome selection dilemma in defence ahead of Saturday’s derby at Doncaster.

With Marc McNulty and Michael Higdon both injured, and after Chris Porter’s unconvincing performance in United’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat at Walsall on Wednesday, Clough will spend much of the build up to the clash with Rovers trying to formulate a plan to coax more goals out of his side, who have now failed to hit the net in three games.

But his choice of personnel at the other end of the field will also no doubt occupy his mind, with McCarthy available after extending his loan spell from Crystal Palace and Basham in his best form since joining the club from Blackpool in the summer.

Jay McEveley, who was rested on Wednesday night, has also impressed at centre-half while young Harrison McGahey, Terry Kennedy and Craig Alcock are also at Clough’s disposal.

“It’s a nice problem to have,” the United manager told The Star.

“Paddy is coming back and Chris has been our outstanding performer over the next few games, so we’ll try and get him in the team on Saturday.

“He sees himself as a midfielder but he has all the attributes to be a top-class centre-half.

“He’s tall, he reads the game well and he seems to have more time at the back, as he can bring the ball out.

“As I say, it’s a great problem to have as a manager... and I just wish we had as many centre-forwards.”