Sheffield United: ‘Doyle is my skipper’, says boss Clough

Michael Doyle
Michael Doyle
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Nigel Clough has denied claims that Michael Doyle has been stripped of the Sheffield United captaincy.

New signing Michael Higdon wore the armband during last weekend’s League One opener against Bristol City after Doyle, a former Republic of Ireland international, was named on the bench.

But the United manager said: “Michael [Doyle] is still the captain.

“He’s not had it taken off him but he can’t wear it if he isn’t out there on the pitch.

“We gave it to Michael [Higdon] because we like what we’ve seen since he came in.

“There weren’t too many other candidates as a lot of the lads were either young or playing their first game but he’s got the experience and he took his responsibilities well.

“Mark Howard was the next candidate but goalkeepers are often a long way away from the action so that’s why we went with Michael instead.”

Central defender Neill Collins was another surprise omission from the team beaten 2-1 by Steve Cotterill’s side but Clough, speaking ahead of the Capital One Cup tie with Mansfield Town, added: “Neill and Michael have got a good chance of coming in on Wednesday.

“They’ve got to take their chance and show they should be in the team.

“Harrison [McGahey] looked good and so did Craig Alcock. I thought there was a good partnership there at centre-half.

“But we picked purely on what we’ve seen during pre-season.”

Clough, who saw Higdon mark his United debut with a well-taken first-half goal, also reassured members of the Redtooth Academy they will be given chances to impress this term despite refusing to rule-out making further acquisitions before the end of the transfer window.

Louis Reed, aged 17, started the meeting against City and Clough said: “This club has thrown a lot of money at things in the past and it’s not always worked.

“Perhaps now it’s time to take a different route and give some of the excellent young lads we’ve got here a chance. That might be what we’ll do.

“We’ll keep making approaches and putting in bids but there’s an opportunity there for them.”