Red card for Henderson leaves few options for Blackwell

SHEFFIELD United will be without Darius Henderson for the next three games after the striker received the seventh red card of his professional career.

Henderson was sent off for violent conduct during a 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night and will now miss the Blades' forthcoming games against Peterborough United, Plymouth Argyle, and Crystal Palace.

His absence will be yet another slap in the face for manager Kevin Blackwell who has already bemoaned the shortage of players at Bramall Lane during the last few months, largely through injury.

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Henderson, 29, allegedly elbowed Forest winger Paul Anderson in an off-the-ball incident at the City Ground and was then involved in an altercation with rival manager Billy Davies on his way towards the tunnel.

Blackwell was unavailable for comment yesterday but had directed his criticism at referee Nigel Miller and his assistants rather than Henderson after the game.

The Blades are also likely to be without Derek Geary for the next few weeks after the defender damaged ankle ligaments.

Geary had only recently returned to action after a career-threatening knee injury but should be available again before the end of the season.

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His absence will mean another defensive re-shuffle for the Blades against struggling Peterborough on Saturday with midfielder Nick Montgomery among the candidates to switch to the right-back slot.

Montgomery, who is currently wearing the captain's armband in the absence of the injured Chris Morgan, made his 250th start for the Blades in the defeat at Forest.

Despite a return of just four points from the last 18 available, Montgomery says it is important to 'keep believing' that promotion is possible.

"We are still around the top six, the manager has worked hard, and the lads that were here last season know what it takes to get into the play-offs – so we must make sure that we keep believing," he said.

"You can go two ways when you have a man sent-off – either you can throw in the towel or you rally round and we showed that we never give in."