LEEDS UNITED assistant-boss Mick Jones admits the Whites would love to keep Michael Tonge after his loan spell expires next month - after an impressive stint at Elland Road.
United - who head to Turf Moor to face Burnley tomorrow - are set to speak with Tonge’s parent club Stoke City about keeping the former Sheffield United midfielder for rest of this term, with his current deal ending following United’s home encounter with Middlesbrough three days before Christmas.
Jones said: “We’d like to extend it. He’s a good player who’s done well.
“It will rest on a few things – what Stoke want to do, because he’s their player, and finances come into it because everybody knows that at this moment in time we’re not loaded with money. It takes money to get good players.
“But Michael is enjoying his football in the Championship. The fans love him, he’s a match-winner and we want to keep him. But the bottom line is that he doesn’t belong to us, he belongs to Stoke City.
Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday’s goalscoring defender Miguel Llera will be in point-proving mode at home to former club Blackpool at Hillsborough tomorrow.
It’s the first time the stopper has faced the Tangerines since they allowed him to join Wednesday last term and Llera added: “I didn’t have too much luck there.
“I had a problem with my deal: when I signed in the summer I couldn’t play in any friendlies, and if I didn’t play in any friendlies it was impossible for me to start the season playing. For that reason, I left for Brentford on loan and I showed the people I could play; the good thing then was I signed here, and I am so happy.”
Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson - whose side visit his former club Swindon tomorrow - has hailed striker Chris Porter’s ruthless streak following his dominant goalscoring performance in Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup win - also in the West Country at Bristol Rovers.
The ex-Oldham and Motherwell forward hit his first goal of the season at the Memorial Stadium following Nick Blackman’s leveller against the Pirates, with United having been rewarded with a home draw against Micky Adams’ Port Vale in round two.
Wilson, who revealed “frank words were exchanged” during the half-time interval on Saturday: “I think Chris is coming to terms with this division now.
“He knows you’ve got to go out there and take hits for yourself and the team.
“Ports has definitely been doing that lately. He’s been putting his body on the line and showing what a quality player he is.
“I was delighted to see Ports score and not only because he deserved it. He will now go into our next game absolutely buzzing and full of confidence.”
Bradford City boss Phil Parkinson - whose side will host Brentford in the second round of the FA Cup if they get past Northampton in a Valley Parade replay next week - has tipped new defensive loan recruit John Egan to prove a favourite with supporters after signing him from Sunderland.
The Irishman, 20, is in the fray to make his debut in tomorrow’s League Two home clash with Chesterfield, having been brought in until January with regular centre-halves Luke Oliver and Andrew Davies out of action for considerable spells.
Parkinson said: “John’s decent in the air and competitive. He’s a good defender, is comfortable on the ball and I like the look of him.
“I’ve done my homework on him and heard that his commitment is first class. That’s what our supporters want to see.”
Rotherham United striker Daniel Nardiello, who missed Saturday’s FA Cup win over Stevenage with a groin strain, should be available for tomorrow night’s League Two trip to Fleetwood.
Meanwhile, Harrogate Town have been handed home comforts in the second round of the FA Cup against Hastings United, while Guiseley will also be afforded a home tie if they triumph in their round one replay at Barrow - which would leave the Blue Square North pair just one win away from the third round of the competition.
A third BSN side, Bradford Park Avenue, bowed out despite a game performance in a 3-1 loss at Doncaster Rovers, with Avenue boss John Deacey adamant his side ‘scared’ the League One high-fliers in their own backyard.
Deacey, whose side trailed 2-0 at half-time, only to hit back thanks to a Richard Marshall effort, said: “It hurts to lose, it always does, but I can’t fault the players for their effort.
“At 2-1 we had a very good spell and I thought we had Donny a little scared. But once it went 3-1, I think we all knew it was over.”