Sheffield United: Search drawing to a close

Nigel Clough is the leading contender to become Sheffield United's new manager
Nigel Clough is the leading contender to become Sheffield United's new manager
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Sheffield United are poised to unveil their new manager, writes James Shield.

Nigel Clough, previously of Derby County, is expected to be handed the role after Chris Morgan, appointed on an interim basis earlier this month, acknowledged tonight’s League One fixture at Peterborough could be his final match in charge.

United’s hierarchy compiled a short-list of potential targets after dispensing with David Weir’s services 11 days ago.

Clough recently told friends he would not entertain any job offers until a severance package with the Championship club had been agreed. Talks between the 47-year-old’s representative and Pride Park’s hierarchy are believed to gathered pace ahead of United’s victory over Port Vale last weekend with Clough among the crowd at Gresty Road as Crewe Alexandra, who visit Bramall Lane on Saturday, beat Bristol City.

Morgan said yesterday: “I definitely think it will be someone from ‘outside’ coming in. I think that’s what we’ll do.

“I know there’s been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes and so what (assistant) Mick (Wadsworth) and I want to do is try and get as many good results as possible so we leave the club in the best possible position.”

Morgan, who has impressed since taking the reins following Weir’s departure, added: “Whoever does come in has my absolute full support. They will make their own decision on who the staff closest to them are and that’s right and proper.

“There are people here with a lot of knowledge and we will all get behind him and give our complete backing to whoever that is. Whatever my role, I can guarantee that’s what they’ll get from me and the same goes for everyone else.”

Clough worked with Andy Garner, Johnny Metgod, Gary Crosby and Martin Taylor during his tenure at County. Morgan, who made 300 appearances for United as a player before injury ended his career, also performed caretaker duties last term.

“One day, I definitely want a chance to manage and hopefully that will come in a few years,” Morgan said. “I was actually supposed to be doing some Pro Licence work at Milton Keynes observing and reviewing games but, as my co-ordinator said when I was asked to take over for this period, actually doing the job is the best experience you can get.

“I’ve absolutely loved every minute of it and, like I say, I’m ready to help out whoever does come here in any way that I possibly can.”