Sheffield United: Clough gives Chris new lease of life

Chris Porter
Chris Porter
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Can Chris Porter resurrect his Sheffield United career under the manager who once made him his first signing?

Could the renewal of a successful link with Shaun Miller play a key part in any revitalisation?

Just some of the questions bubbling around the front man who had become much-maligned and was cast aside at Bramall Lane just over a month ago.

As has been mentioned previously, Porter was the first signing Nigel Clough made as Derby County manager at the start of 2009.

He brought him back to England after a prolific time at Motherwell and paid the not inconsiderable sum of £400,000 to do so.

When Clough arrived at Bramall Lane, Porter wasn’t even there. David Weir appeared to write off Porter after an anonymous performance in the derby at Rotherham in September.

He’d then been packed off on loan to Chesterfield but hadn’t even made the League Two side’s starting line-up in the final three games there.

Back he came last week and was the FA Cup matchwinner at Colchester.

That won’t guarantee longevity in the team for Porter but starting with him was another show of faith in the player by Clough and the second opportunity, on top of being his first signing at Derby, for Porter to reflect on Clough being the man to give him a chance.

Of course, Clough had the advantage of knowing his man having worked with him before. Whether he can spark something afresh in Porter remains to be seen. He had certainly fallen down the pecking order and, after the Rotherham game, off the radar altogether.

The return of Shaun Miller to fitness and his first start for 11 months on Saturday saw the renewal of a link with Porter which proved rather successful last season.

They were in the same starting line-up on nine occasions, all in the first half of the season.

United were not particularly prolific scorers in those first four or so months but when these two started, the Blades scored 20 goals in those nine games including two fours and two threes.

In those nine games, United scored two or more goals, seven times. In the other 18 games, United scored two or more goals... twice!

Also, in those nine games, Miller and Porter scored nine goals between them.

It may just have been coincidence or they may just hit it off - something Porter had touched on when speaking about playing with Miller after they linked up again last weekend.

It seems they could well be starting again at the Lane on Saturday.