Nigel Clough says Sheffield United bad boy Febian Brandy faces a fight to regain a place in the starting line-up after a rocky start to his career at Bramall Lane.
Brandy is available for selection for this weekend’s daunting trip to second-placed Leyton Orient, having served a four-match ban for his sending off at Shrewsbury Town earlier this month.
Suspensions have severely hampered the winger’s progress this season. Because Brandy has been dismissed twice since joining the South Yorkshire club on a free transfer from Walsall last summer, the 24-year-old has missed seven of United’s fixtures through ill-discipline. United chief Clough fined Brandy after his last indiscretion and has told the forward he must clean up his act to become part of his long-term plans.
“Febian can be an asset, if he can stay on the pitch for longer than 10 minutes,” he said. “We’re looking for assets in terms of teamwork; we’re not looking for any individuals and we’re certainly not looking for people who can’t stay on the pitch.
“He will have to work extremely hard, and he may not come back into the team for Leyton Orient.”
Brandy described his red card at Shrewsbury as a “moment of petulancy” and has vowed to prove his worth to Clough.
While Brandy may have to bide his time for a chance to impress, Clough is likely to restore Harry Maguire to United’s back four. The young centre-back sat out the midweek draw with Walsall having collected five bookings. Simon Lappin (ankle) is an injury doubt.