Sheffield United: Clough full of praise for teenage defender

Sheffield United's Harrison McGahey
Sheffield United's Harrison McGahey
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Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has once again heaped praise on teenage defender Harrison McGahey, after his latest commanding performance at Preston North End.

The 18-year-old partnered Neill Collins at centre-half at Deepdale as United registered a 1-1 draw against their likely promotion rivals. McGahey’s promotion has been accelerated by both the sale of Harry Maguire to Hull City, and Andy Butler’s indifferent pre-season campaign.

And Clough, who signed McGahey from Blackpool in the summer, admitted: “We were very keen to bring Harrison in, because we saw a very good player in the making.

“He is raw, inexperienced and will make mistakes but, at the same time, he is developing and we see some real potential in him.

“What we have to remember is he is still very young.

“He isn’t a replacement for Harry, because Harry was very similar to Harrison when he first broke into the first team in the Championship. If a youngster is to learn they have to play and probably make mistakes, but what we don’t want to see is Harrison making the same mistake twice.

“Harry made mistakes and that made him a Premier League player.”

Clough, who hopes to bring in defensive cover on loan before his side’s next game against Rochdale on September 13, added: “Harrison is very lucky to have someone like [coach] Chris Morgan to work closely with, and Morgs believes he will go on to be a very, very good defender.

“We are optimistic he will develop gradually as the season progresses.

“He has certainly worked hard for the opportunity to start the season, and he hasn’t let anyone down.”