Sheffield United: Clough refuses to rake over the past

Nigel Clough � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Nigel Clough � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Nigel Clough revealed he refused to watch footage of Sheffield United’s miserable start to the season after taking charge at Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.

Clough, who was unveiled as David Weir’s permanent successor last week, made the admission following Saturday’s victory over Crewe Alexandra which stretched his team’s unbeaten run to three games and lifted it out of the League One relegation zone.

United took only five points from 10 outings during the former Scotland international’s brief but turbulent reign and Clough said: “No, I didn’t look at anything like that. It’s what happens now that’s important as far as I’m concerned, not what went on in the past.

“Everyone has got to be focused on the future. Focused on getting results rather than worrying about what happened before.”

Clough, who could discover today whether his bid to sign defender Aidy White on loan from Leeds has been successful, promised every member of the squad he inherited from Weir “a clean slate” before the meeting with Steve Davis’ side.

Acknowledging he sought Chris Morgan’s advice before naming his team - the 35-year-old stepped into the breach as caretaker when Weir departed earlier this month - Clough confirmed midfielder Febian Brandy missed-out after being taken ill on the eve of the contest.

However, the midfielder could return to action when United face Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow this weekend while Lyle Taylor should also feature despite being described as “shattered” by Clough following his exploits against Crewe.

Fellow centre-forward Shaun Miller continued his recovery from a long-term knee injury by scoring twice during yesterday’s Premier League Cup defeat by Birmingham City.

“We only spent 48 hours with the players (ahead of Crewe) so there’s only so much that you can do in such a short space of time.” Clough said. “Nothing happens overnight but we were really pleased with how the players responded and the manner in which they went about their work.

“That was really good to see and they deserved to get the result, I thought.

“It goes without saying that we were delighted to win our first game here. That’s obviously very important.

“But it has also been and gone now. We move quickly on to the next one at Shrewsbury and making sure that we are properly prepared for that.”

“Febian had a sickness bug and after seeing the doctor was very dehydrated,” Clough added. “So it wasn’t worth risking him.”

Miller, who has been used sparingly since returning to action earlier this month, netted both of United’s efforts as they exited the under-21 competition at the qualifying stage.

But, despite racing into an early lead, Reece Hales and Liam Truslove pegged Morgan’s charges back before Koby Arthur ensured it was the visitors who progressed.

Mark Howard, Harry Bunn, Joe Ironside and Jamie Murphy all featured for United while Callum McFadzean made a second-half cameo after replacing Jasper Johns.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1