Sheffield United: Clough in frame for managerial prize

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough.
Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough.
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Blades boss Nigel Clough is in the running for the League One manager of the month award for April.

United triumphed in three of their seven League One fixtures last month, drawing the other four matches. Their only defeat came against Hull City in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

It is the third time Clough has been nominated for the prize since succeeding David Weir at the helm last October. He was in contention for the award in December and won it in February.

Darren Ferguson, Kenny Jackett and Lee Johnson complete the four-man shortlist. The judging panel is chaired by former United manager Dave Bassett with Sky Sports’ Football League expert Don Goodman; Football League Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson; League Managers’ Director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet Head of Football Paul Wiggins. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Clough, meanwhile, has challenged Terry Kennedy to work on his distribution in his quest to hold down a regular starting berth at United.

The youngster deputised for the injured Neill Collins at the heart of their rearguard in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Oldham Athletic. With Collins struggling to shake off an ankle injury, Kennedy is set to keep his place in the starting line-up for their home meeting with Coventry City this weekend.

Clough said: “Terry has to improve on the ball. He gave it away a couple of times against Oldham late on and that nearly cost us the game. In terms of his bravery, that’s not in doubt. He will put his head into anything but, if he is going to play at this level, he has got improve on the ball, especially when our centre-backs have as much of the ball as we had at Oldham.”

The United chief has promised to play a strong side against Coventry in what is the club’s final fixture of the 2013/14 campaign.

“There will not be too many changes,” said Clough. “We will pick our best team. We want to win the game.”