Warnock seeks elixir to restore weary Shipperley

Sheffield United 1 Wolverhampton W 0
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The Independent Football

Lately, though, he has been ploughing his furrow with a weary tread. His manager, Neil Warnock, put him through a series of medical tests on Saturday, seeking to find out why 90 minutes of football is tending to leave him knackered.

Is it not obvious? After a career that now spans eight clubs and nearly 500 games, surely advancing years are taking their toll. Yet while he gives the impression of being a contemporary of Bob Latchford or Frank Stapleton, Shipperley is still relatively young.

"I know he looks 45 but he is actually only 30," Warnock said. "So we are just looking to see if we can identify why he is getting tired because he shouldn't be." Even so, it is difficult to escape the impression that the one-time Chelsea teenager is enjoying a swansong at Bramall Lane.

Two years ago, his goals helped fire Crystal Palace to promotion but he was discarded by their manager, Iain Dowie last season, making only one appearance in the Premier League. "It was frustrating," he said. "I just couldn't make a breakthrough. So when I got the chance to come here it was an easy decision.

"I always back myself to score the odd goal if given the chance and it has worked out well for me." The odd goal on Saturday, nudged in from close range after the defender Chris Morgan had propelled a corner from the impressive David Unsworth into a crowded six-yard box, kept United riding high in the Championship, with 11 wins from 13 starts.

"He was disappointed not to be given a chance in the Premier League last season so he has something to prove," Warnock said.

United have now displaced Wolves as favourites for automatic promotion with the bookmakers, although Glenn Hoddle is unfazed by the 14 points that now separate his side from Warnock's. "We did not play well today but even playing badly there was not much between us and Sheffield," Hoddle said. "I still feel that this is a side that can win promotion."

Goal: Shipperley (16) 1-0.

Sheffield United (4-4-2): Kenny; Kozluk, Bromby, Morgan, Unsworth; Ifill (Gillespie, 60), Montgomery, Jagielka, Quinn; Kabba (Webber, 83), Shipperley (Pericard, 90). Substitutes not used: Tonge, Geary.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-3-3): Oakes; Edwards, Craddock, Lescott, Naylor; Cameron (Davies, 66), Kennedy, Olofinjana (Anderton, 46); Seol, Cort, Miller (Ndah, 66). Substitutes not used: Gyepes, Postma (gk).

Referee: R Beeby (Northamptonshire).

Booked: Sheffield United: Morgan. Wolves: Lescott.

Man of the match: Unsworth.

Attendance: 25,533.