Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, has shed further light on his transfer policy after completing the signatures of Marc McNulty and Jamal Campbell-Ryce, writes James Shield.
Despite refusing to quantify the number of new players he wants to recruit - “That depends on who stays and who goes from the current group” - the former England international confirmed potential targets must demonstrate a “hunger” and “desire” to represent United before being invited to join the League One club.
McNulty, aged 21, arrives from Livingston after scoring 19 goals in 39 appearances for John McGlynn’s side last term. Campbell-Ryce, previously of Rotherham and Barnsley, will put pen to paper on a two year contract when his present deal with Notts County expires.
“Marc is a young lad and Jamal is 31 so they’re both from different ends of the spectrum,” Clough told The Star. “And, because of that, both with something to prove albeit for different reasons.
“What’s key, though, is that Marc and Jamal are really excited to be here. That’s what we want to see.
“We might be looking at one or two from the Championship as well but hopefully they won’t view this as a step down. Rather one step back to take a couple forward.”
Clough, speaking as McNulty and Campbell-Ryce were unveiled yesterday, confirmed United’s strong finish to the 2013/14 campaign, combined with their march into the semi-finals of the FA Cup, is proving a powerful weapon in the market.
“We’re not having to try too hard to sell this club,” he said. “People see everything that went on, and the manner in which we got those results, and are excited by it.
“Even at academy level, when there is a nine or ten year old looking to come in, we can point to the fact that a 16-year-old (Louis Reed) got a chance. There’s a good positive feeling.”
McNulty, who commanded an undisclosed fee after leaving Almondvale Stadium, is the second player Clough has acquired from Livingston since taking charge in October following Stefan Scougall’s arrival four months ago.
“They worked well together up there but then good players will always gravitate towards each other,” Clough said. “Hopefully they’ll be able to get that partnership going again.
“We’ve always maintained that Scotland is a good market for us because, given the money situation, young players are given an opportunity quickly.
“It’s not an easy level to score goals at because it’s tough football and physically the youngsters can get battered a bit.
“Marc admitted he had to work even harder when Stefan went but he’s got this opportunity now.”