Sheffield United: Clough issues new orders

Nigel Clough (right) during last weekend's game at Cambridge United � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Nigel Clough (right) during last weekend's game at Cambridge United � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, has warned his players that any loss of focus will have a detrimental effect on their battle for League One survival, writes James Shield.

Clough made the admission despite praising United’s “attitude” and “discipline” during a run of games which has seen them accumulate five points from meetings against Bristol City, Walsall and League One leaders Leyton Orient.

“We’ve come through three very important matches, in terms of their significance to our season, unbeaten,” Clough, speaking ahead of Saturday’s fixture with Swindon Town, said. “And that illustrates the determination we’ve shown which is very pleasing.

“But the fact that we are still close to the relegation zone shows that there can be no let-up. We can’t afford to switch off or relax.”

United, who climbed to 20th in the table when they drew with Orient at the Matchroom Stadium, are unbeaten in all competitions since being narrowly beaten by Gillingham nearly four weeks ago.

“We’ve got to show the same qualities,” Clough said. “Keep on working hard.”

Brentford, whose visit to Bramall Lane next month has been postponed due to United’s involvement in the FA Cup, have appointed sporting director Mark Warburton as the new manager at Griffin Park.

Warbuton, who has also served the Londoners as first team coach, was handed the role following Uwe Rosler’s decision to join Wigan Athletic.

Cliff Brown, the Brentford chairman, said: “We have done very well this season with a squad Mark has helped to assemble and with the existing coaching and back room staff.

“We believe Mark will offer continuity at a key time and enable us to build on the past two-and-a-half years.

“Mark’s coaching credentials are without question, he is highly qualified to deal with both professionals and our young players.

“Mark has a commitment to blooding young players into the first team and to the academy and that remains important for the club’s development.

“Mark has done an exceptional job as sporting director and he can step into this new role seamlessly.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1