A night in which little had gone right for Sheffield United was drawing to a close when the most damaging hammer blow arrived.

John Egan, having put in another sterling shift at the back, threw himself towards Jesse Lingard in an attempt to stop the West Ham United loanee getting a shot on goal. Unfortunately, in bravely averting the danger, Egan took a heavy blow to the ankle that looked serious from the moment contact was made.

Sure enough, following lengthy treatment, Egan was carried from the field on a motorised stretcher. With him probably went any last, lingering hope that this most miserable of seasons could be saved.

Chris Wilder, the United manager, certainly feared the worst when watching his one-time record signing writhe in pain following the collision with Lingard.

“It didn’t look too good, did it?” the 53-year-old replied when asked about his gut feeling as to the severity of Egan’s injury. “We will have…



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