Sheffield United: Blades bust-up claims refuted

Steven Davies' goal at Barnsley was among the high points of Sheffield United's season
Steven Davies' goal at Barnsley was among the high points of Sheffield United's season
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Nigel Clough was asked to submit a review of last season’s performances to Sheffield United’s board of directors before being relieved of his duties at Bramall Lane.

The Star understands that the 49-year-old, whose forensic analysis is thought to have included a pledge to introduce a more expansive style, also applied the finishing touches to the League One club’s summer friendlies programme ahead of Monday morning’s announcement.

Likewise Kieron Freeman's goal during the play-off semi-final first leg against Swindon Town

Likewise Kieron Freeman's goal during the play-off semi-final first leg against Swindon Town

With talks scheduled to take place with the representatives of at least two potential signings later this week - both of whom are thought to have been involved in the divisional play-off final between Preston North End and Swindon Town - it suggests Clough, who has so far refused to comment on the reasons behind his exit, did not expect to be sacked despite failing to deliver promotion following his first full campaign at the helm.

Although the exact details of his presentation to United’s hierarchy are unclear, sources close to the first team squad have indicated that, as reported earlier this month, they included an admission that the absence of a regular centre-half had contributed towards their 7-6 aggregate defeat by Mark Cooper’s side at the semi-final stage.

Twitter: @JamesShield1

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Unfortunately for Sheffield United, Swindon Town came back to seal a dramatic win

Unfortunately for Sheffield United, Swindon Town came back to seal a dramatic win