• Dan Tracey


The Sheffield United medical team will be kept busy over the next few weeks, as they must deal with not one but two injuries to their attackers and it is a pair of ailments that will keep both Billy Sharp and Oli McBurnie out for the rest of the season.

When such a length of injury is reported, that usually means awfully bad news and although the end of this campaign is just six or seven weeks away, it is still a substantial blow for Sheffield United to deal with.

Of course, we all know Sheffield United’s plight in recent times and with the clock ticking on their time in the Premier League, the injuries to both Sharp and McBurnie will make little difference in their failing to bid to beat the drop.

A relegation that is only a handful of weeks away and if the Blades were hoping for anything in the way of a new manager bounce, the interim appointment of Paul Heckingbottom has not had the desired effect.

That’s not to do the former Barnsley and Leeds manager too much of a disservice, its just that whoever who was going to take the reins from Chris Wilder, was always going to be given a near impossible task to contend with.

Because this is a team that is now a shell of their former selves and if they were failing to run through bricks walls under their previous manager – something that they would have happily done last season, it was never going to happen for the current man in charge.

Bramall Lane has been just as quiet as any other ground this season and it is perhaps this lack of support, which has had a far larger effect on the Blades when compared to their Premier League counterparts.

Of course, they and the other 19 teams in the division are all in the same boat when it comes to being behind closed doors and therefore, Sheffield United have not been handed some incredibly unfair disadvantage.

However, there is no doubt that if the Blades were playing in front of a full house, they would have certainly found some additional impetus from somewhere and although you cannot quantify the number of points gained, there would have surely been some form of tangible benefit.

While the injuries to Sharp and McBurnie only further worsen the plight of the Premier League’s basement side and with the club an eye-watering 18 points from safety, their fate could be confirmed as soon as this weekend.

If Newcastle get something from their clash at home to West Ham, then Sheffield United would have to get the better of Wolves at Molineux and even if it were the case, it would only delay what is inevitable.

While it is inevitability which has seemingly been attached to the Yorkshire outfit and there has been a sense of doom from early on, as their wretched run of bad results at the start just got longer and longer.

The damage is already done, now it is trying to gain any modicum of pride before they bow out and it is a bow that will be taken without the services of two forwards who have struggled in front of goal this season.

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