A busy old month for Steve Claridge's Sheffield United and what a mixed bag of a month it proved to be...
Game 31- FA Cup R3;
Sheffield United 0-0 Nottingham Forest
Game 32- Skybet League 1;
Sheffield United 2-2 Oldham; Stevie May, Jose Baxter
Game 33- Skybet League 1;
Notts County 1-4 Sheffield United
; Jamaal Lascelles, Marcus Tudgay, Stevie May (2)
Game 34- FA Cup R3 Replay;
Nottingham Forest 1-2 Sheffield United
; Stevie May, Jamie Murphy
Game 35- Skybet League 1; Sheffield United 2
-0 Bradford City; Jose Baxter, Keith Treacy
Game 36- Skybet League 1;
Sheffield United 0-1 Brentford
Game 37- FA Cup R4;
Northampton Town 0-1 Sheffield United
; Marcus Tudgay
Game 38- Skybet League 1;
Sheffield United 1-2 Peterborough
; Jose Baxter
Game 39- Skybet League 1;
Crewe 2-2 Sheffield United; Jose Baxter, Keith Treacy
Two league losses in the month and two points thrown away in the visit to Crewe has seen Sheffield United drop down to third spot- albeit with a game in hand on both teams above- but the biggest problem of the month is the injury to Stevie May
. Picked up against Peterborough, he will be out for between four and six weeks and I fear that United may miss his goals and presence up front... we shall see! I decided against bringing anybody else in instead to replace him as I felt Tudgay
could cover for him and, besides, it is only a month- what could possibly go wrong? The league is very tight at the moment- while Claridge's United are only four points off top with a game in hand, Brentford are only three points behind in 7th place, so this month without Stevie May is make or break I think.
As promised, here is the final installment of the squad review; the strikers...
ST- Stevie May
25 (6) apps, 24 goals, 7 assists, 7.28
Signing of the summer and the top scorer in the league, May has taken to English football like a duck to water and has proven his worth and then some in South Yorkshire. The man is born to score goals and will hopefully continue when he returns from injury this season and, hopefully, in the Championship next season if United go up. First choice.
AMC/ST- Jose Baxter
33 (3) apps, 21 goals, 9 assists, 7.28
Playing in the shadow striker role, predominantly behind Stevie May, Jose Baxter has proven to be a revelation. He has played the vast majority of games this season and is just irresistible in the role. He bags spectacular goals for fun, and the long range free kick is a weapon he seems to regularly use. The sort of player who, at a young age, will hopefully be at the club for years and will continue to be a focal point for the team and continue his superb partnership with May.
ST- Marcus Tudgay
12 (7) apps, 7 goals, 4 assists, 6.89
Brought in initially to give another option to May and to fill in, the Nottingham Forest loanee has chipped in and will hopefully continue to through the season as we push for promotion. There isn't a lot to say here as he is a solid if unspectacular player for the club and won't be around next season.
ST- Billy Paynter
3 (4) apps, 2 goals, 0 assists, 7.22
An early injury saw Paynter down to third choice striker and the good form coupled with good health for May, Baxter and Tudgay has left him with barely a sniff. However, when he does get a chance, he has scored a couple of goals and his efforts may be rewarded with more game time now May is injured. Another loanee, he will be leaving the club at the end of the season.
ST/AML/ML- Jamie Murphy
12 (10) apps, 6 goals, 1 assist, 6.98
After pre season training saw Murphy begin training as a left midfielder, he provides back up there to Keith Treacy while also being Jose Baxter's deputy behind the main striker. He has chipped in when called upon and is another solid back up at the club.