Sheffield United: Clough makes pledge to players

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Nigel Clough has promised every member of his squad will be given an opportunity to stake a claim for a starting role during the opening weeks of the new League One campaign.

The United manager made eight changes to his team for Wednesday’s Capital One Cup tie against Mansfield Town with further tweaks expected ahead of this afternoon’s visit to Coventry City.

With centre-forward Michael Higdon, who opened his United account during last weekend’s defeat by Bristol City, poised to return at Sixfields Stadium, Clough said: “It’s important that we give everyone a game at this stage of the season and, fortunately, that’s what we’ve so far been able to do.

“We thought about naming the same side (which faced City) for the Mansfield game, well, at least those players who were available, but we felt taking a different direction was the right thing to do.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1