Nigel Clough warned he does not have any preconceived ideas about Sheffield United’s players after being appointed the club’s new manager earlier this week.
Instead Clough, who makes his Bramall Lane ‘debut’ against Crewe Alexandra today, will formulate his first starting eleven using a combination of training ground performance and local knowledge.
Hinting he could pick the brains of Chris Morgan, who performed caretaker duties following David Weir’s departure a fortnight ago, before selecting his team Clough said: “I don’t really know any of them personally, only on paper. But we are looking forward to getting to work.”
Clough, who has been joined at United by coaches Gary Crosby and Andy Garner, together with his older brother Simon, added: “Chris has been at this club a long time. He’s got the knowledge about what the strengths and issues are. He knows the people here.”
United will assess the fitness of Jose Baxter, who is nursing a muscle problem, ahead of the meeting with Steve Davis’ side.
Matt Hill could return after missing Tuesday’s draw at Peterborough after receiving a heavy blow on his thigh towards the end of last weekend’s victory over Port Vale.
However, Callum McFadzean is unlikely to feature after Morgan, speaking ahead of the visit to London Road, revealed the midfielder was still “a little way off” resuming full training.
Abdul Osman, the Crewe captain, last night ordered his colleagues to “turn it around” against United following their heavy defeat by Stevenage in midweek.
Osman said: “We are very disappointed as we let ourselves down and the team didn’t gel. A couple of players played well but it’s a team game and we need to get results as winning one and losing one isn’t really good enough.
“As captain I was distraught on Tuesday night and we know that, when Saturday comes, we have to turn it around and do better.”