Sheffield United: Clough is in no hurry for quick return

Nigel Clough.
Nigel Clough.
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Sheffield United hope to appoint a new manager within the next 48 hours as the search for David Weir’s successor continues to gather pace, writes James Shield.

Chris Morgan, who took charge on a caretaker basis following the former Scotland international’s departure last week, suggested Nigel Clough remains the leading contender during after yesterday’s defeat by Coventry City.

But the 47-year-old is understood to have told friends that reaching a settlement with Derby County, rather than a quick return to management, remains his immediate priority.

“I think we need a coach who doesn’t view money as the answer to evey problem, director James Phipps, said. “Sometimes, just pouring in resources is not the most effective way of ensuring an organisation achieves the desired results.

“Certainly, it would be valuable to have someone with experience of the league above, who has the right vision of how we are going to get there in terms of our systems and philosophy.”

“There are some really strong candidates and I’ve seen some interesting suggestions.

“Some are likely to be near the target and others less so.

“But we have committed to putting resources into the club and I think that will be in evidence with what we seek to do next.”

Nevertheless, although Morgan’s comments after the dramatic encounter with City indicated Clough’s arrival is imminent - “There’s one name on everybody’s lips and we all know who that is” - United’s hierarchy, including Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad’s co-owner Kevin McCabe, compiled a short-list of potential targets following the decision to dispense with Weir’s services 48 hours before the visit to Sixfields Stadium.

Roy Keane, previously of Sunderland and Ipswich Town, was reportedly interested in the role before Weir’s unveiling during the close season.

Leyton Orient’s Russell Slade, Richie Barker of Crawley Town, Keith Curle and MK Dons’ Karl Robinson are also known to boast admirers at United while former Stoke City chief Tony Pulis has been linked in some quarters.

Morgan, speaking after Lyle Taylor’s brace threatened to snatch what would have been a deserved point for the visitors, said: “If it is Nigel then you know the qualities he will bring with him.

“He did a very good job during a solid spell at Derby and likes to bring youngsters through.

“They have got a very good academy there just like us.”

United showed spirit during the second half of their 3-2 defeat at Coventry yesterday after falling behind by three goals.

Former Sheffield Wednesday striker was once again a thorn in the Blades side with goals either side of Callum Wilson’s effort.