Nigel Clough has refused to offer captain Michael Doyle any guarantees about his place in Sheffield United’s starting eleven as the influential midfielder prepares to begin a three match ban, writes James Shield.
But Clough revealed that Doyle’s decision to apologise immediately after being sent-off during Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Fulham had spared him the wrath of team mates and coaching staff alike.
Describing the off-the-ball incident with Chris David which prompted Doyle’s dismissal, Clough told The Star: “Michael held his hands-up straight away afterwards and said sorry. We can’t appeal it because he’s kicked-out although I hardly think you could describe it as violent conduct, especially when you consider some of the challenges he’s endured recently, and their lad has made a lot of it.”
Clough, speaking ahead of tonight’s League One game with Peterborough, added: “Still, Michael is experienced enough to know better and he’ll be dealt with internally according to our disciplinary process.
“His biggest fear, though, could be getting his place back if we get some good results. We’ll miss his experience but we’ll get through.
“It’s an opportunity for someone else to come in, stake a claim and show what they can do.”
United, meanwhile, confirmed last night that their meeting with Peterborough is subject to a pitch inspection at 9.30am this morning.