Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough remains undecided whether Jason Holt should be offered a permanent contract despite likening the on-loan midfielder to former England international Frank Lampard, writes James Shield.
Holt joined the League One club from Heart of Midlothian earlier this year and is scheduled to discover if he will remain in England before his temporary agreement expires at the end of the present campaign.
Clough, whose side visit Crawley Town tomorrow, told The Star: “It’s still too early to know what’s going to happen with Jason. We haven’t made our minds-up or seen enough of him yet.
“But what we have seen, we’re very impressed with. It’s fair to say that much.”
United remained fifth in the table after recording their sixth consecutive win over Rochdale in midweek. Holt could make his fifth appearance for the visitors when they resume their promotion bid in west Sussex providing he recovers from injury.
Clough added: “There aren’t many players in his position who do what Jason does anymore. He runs beyond the midfield, he breaks the lines and he does it naturally which, these days, has become a bit of a dying art.
“The best in the business at it is Frank Lampard. You can tell when it’s forced because people pass, think then go. Jason doesn’t, it just comes naturally to him and that can give us something different to what we’ve already got.”
Despite acknowledging there is no binding agreement in place with Holt or his representatives, Clough’s words represent the clearest indication yet that the youngster is poised to extend his stay in South Yorkshire irrespective of the division United are competiting in next term.
They moved seven points clear of sixth-placed Bradford City following Tuesday’s triumph at Spotland and are 10 behind MK Dons, who occupy the second automatic promotion berth, with a game in hand.
“All we are going to do is keep focusing on ourselves and trying to do the best that we possibly can,” Clough said. “We are not giving anything up but, equally, we have not made sure of a place in the play-offs yet either.”