Scare for Blades as Brayford breaks down on U21s return

John Brayford
John Brayford

Sheffield United boss Nigel Adkins is hoping for positive news on John Brayford, after the right-back was withdrawn after half an hour of his comeback for Sheffield United’s U21s on Tuesday.

Brayford, the £1.5m former Burton and Derby County defender, has been missing since May with a serious knee ligament injury but had returned to action ahead of schedule, and had been pencilled in to play 45 minutes for Chris Morgan’s Development side against Sunderland.

Matt Done knocks in his goal against Notts County

Matt Done knocks in his goal against Notts County

But after feeling “a twinge”, Brayford was withdrawn as a precaution and Adkins, speaking after his side beat Notts County 5-1 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy that evening, said: “I was at the game and John has felt his knee and walked straight off, so when John does that you automatically fear the worse.

“But it was more of a precaution; he has to be checked over now but it’s disappointing.

“Hopefully, it’s something very minor and he’ll be alright.”

James Wallace came through his planned 45 minutes without incident, while Flo Cuvelier played 70 minutes as he steps up his bid for match fitness.

“We’ve got a big squad but, for one reason or another, there have been a lot of players who haven’t always been available to us,” Adkins added.

“We want to keep putting ourselves in a position whereby we are winning games.”

United return to League One action at Bramall Lane this weekend, when they face Rochdale - who are a place above them, in sixth, on goal difference.

Rochdale could see a familiar face come up against them with United’s Matt Done back, following a dislocated shoulder.

Done scored his second goal in two games in United’s rout against Notts County, and constantly troubled the League Two outfit throughout.

“Doney played really well,” Adkins said afterwards.

“Jose [Baxter] got two pens, Scougs [Stefan Scougall] did well and there was a great piece of skill from Jamal Campbell-Ryce towards the end. That was terrific.

“We changed the shape a little and the midfield three passed the ball well. That was good to see and we want to take that on moving forward.”