Who will replace Sheffield United's Anel Ahmedhodzic at Bristol City and will Wes Foderingham or Adam Davies start? Plus Paul Heckingbottom issues Iliman Ndiaye warning

SHEFFIELD UNITED manager Paul Heckingbottom has professed his relief at getting more options back at his disposal after a tough start to the season on the injury front.

The United injury room is gradually starting to clear, although there are still some notable absentees including key midfielder Sander Berge.

They must also make do without influential defender Anel Ahmedhodzic for Tuesday's game at Bristol City after he copped his fifth booking of the campaign at the weekend, but with Enda Stevens, Jack Robinson and Ciaran Clark now back available, Heckingbottom has plenty of cover in that regard.

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Wes Foderingham is also available after suspension with the Blades chief tight-lipped on whether he will come straight back into the side in goal and replace Adam Davies, who kept a clean sheet in the weekend win over West Brom.

Anel Ahmedhodzic. Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images.Anel Ahmedhodzic. Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images.
Anel Ahmedhodzic. Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images.

On Stevens and Robinson being back in the fray, Heckingbottom, who is without striker Rhian Brewster (hamstring) – with the length of his absence not yet known - said: "Ciaran is back as well and we are welcoming them (players) back. Flecky (John Fleck) is a few weeks down, so we are gradually getting the bodies back.

"They are not up to the levels where we want them to be at and we want them to be at in terms of if they have been playing all season. We have to understand that and know that.

"But to have them in and around the squad and for them to be available to start or on the bench gives us that opportunity now with the five subs to get 45 or 60 minutes out of players and bring on a natural replacement."

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And on Foderingham's availability after serving a three-match ban following his dismissal at the end of the home game with Blackpool, he added: "(He is) into the squad, yes. I was pleased for Davo on Saturday. Obviously we conceded that first goal against Norwich which hurt him and us (in his first game).

"But there was one moment where I was relaxed about him and his performance from then on. There was a ball over the top and he makes a great decision to come out and cushioned a header to Anel and the danger was gone and from that moment I thought 'brilliant, he is over it' and he then goes and saves a penalty later on, which was good.

"I was pleased he was strong and able to keep a clean sheet versus West Brom to show what he is about and that's why we brought him in. It's the first football he has played for a long time and he is going into a World Cup and can show everyone what he can do."

Meanwhile, Heckingbottom has confirmed that the club are talking with star turn Iliman Ndiaye over a new deal, but admits that the situation is not simple.

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The Senegalese international's current deal runs until 2024.

Heckingbottom commented: "He's been one of the ones, with the conversations.

"Definitely (want to extend Ndiaye's contract), but everyone's got to want it to happen. Conversations are ongoing and it's not simple, I wouldn't expect anything to be done soon."