Sheffield United: Clough has no fears taking on Matt Smith, the striker he tried to sign

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough

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Nigel Clough has revealed he made an enquiry for Matt Smith before the Fulham centre-forward joined Bristol City on loan.

But the Sheffield United manager, who last night refused to rule-out submitting a third bid for Blackpool’s Steve Davies, insisted he has no fears about facing the 25-year-old at Ashton Gate this afternoon.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Clough, speaking ahead of today’s meeting with the League One leaders, said: “We asked about Matt before he went there but we were told he didn’t want to play in the third tier. Then he popped-up there but never mind because sometimes that’s just how it goes.

“We’re always looking at players and, if the opportunity arises, then we might try and bring another one in (during the loan window). But if not it doesn’t matter.

“There’s no rush because our squad is good at the moment. It’s more than equipped to cope.”

As The Star reported yesterday, Davies features among Clough’s list of potential targets after learning that Michael Higdon (hamstring) and Stefan Scougall (knee) have both failed to overcome injury.

Sixth-placed United had hoped that Higdon would be available to face City but Clough added: “It’s just not quite ready which is a shame because Michael would give us that physical option up there.

“With Stefan, we’re still not quite sure because things are still settling down but we’re working on the basis of something like four weeks.”

Clough, meanwhile, has repeated his claim that Harry Maguire left United “too soon” after joining Hull City during the close season. The 21-year-old has started just once game for the Premier League club and was loaned to Wigan Athletic earlier this week.

“We asked Harry to give us one more year, help us get promoted and leave as a hero,” Clough said. “Unfortunately, he saw it another way.

“We’d never stand in the way of anyone joining a top-flight club because of everything involved but it’s all about the timing. Harry is a smashing player and so, hopefully, he’ll get the chance to play some football now.”

Twitter: @JamesShield1

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