Brayford adds to competition for places at Sheffield United

John Brayford
John Brayford
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John Brayford has returned to training for Sheffield United, although manager Nigel Adkins admits he will not be available for Saturday’s trip to Crewe Alexandra.

The Blades have struggled for fitness in the squad throughout the season, but Adkins was delighted to have 26 outfield players available to him for training on Thursday.

Harrison McGahey and Ryan Flynn were also involved, Flynn having played the final five minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Millwall at Bramall Lane.

Adkins said: “John Brayford is one of the lads who was out running around today, that’s pleasing. He’s not ready for the game, but the good thing is that they get themselves back on the training ground.

“He played for the Under-21s, then he had a little bit of a niggle, but he’s back on track again. We’re looking to build his involvement up.

“(McGahey) has trained. We had a good game on Tuesday amongst ourselves, he’s played in that, which is pleasing. He’s had a good week’s training now with the players.

“(Flynn)’s trained again, we’ve got 26 players, (some of them) have for one reason or another been out, but they’re back on the grass today, which is good.”

With nearly his entire complement of outfield players available to him, Adkins also admitted the squad is too large and some players could be moved on soon, whether on loan or on a permanent basis once the transfer window opens.

He added: “It’s a hell of a lot. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, I’ve been quite consistent with the message all of the way through, that we’ve got too many players.

“That’s important that we’ve got competition for places but everyone will want to play.

“We’ll have to do the business side of things as things materialise up until the January window, when things could possibly get done on a more permanent basis.”