Nigel Clough has insisted Stefan Scougall can become the scourge of League One defences this season, writes James Shield.
The Sheffield United manager, speaking ahead of today’s game against fellow promotion contenders Swindon Town, made the prediction after revealing Scougall was among a handful of players to escape his wrath following their midweek victory over Colchester.
Clough, who labelled the visitors’ performance at the Weston Homes Community Stadium as “disappointing” despite seeing them stretch their unbeaten run in all competitions to six games, told The Star: “We’ve not seen the best of Stefan yet. I’m convinced of that because he’s still learning, developing and has got so much room for improvement.
“But we’ve all seen what he’s capable of. He runs at defences, puts them on the back foot and can cause them all sorts of problems.
“That’s why he stood out down there at Colchester when he came on. What he did was in such stark contrast to pretty much everything else that happened.
“But, in fairness to the lads, they found a way to win when they weren’t playing well. And that’s what good teams do.”
Clough, who threatened to wield the axe if his players allow their standards to drop, added: “Stefan is a tough little so and so too. People try to rough him up at times or put in a heavy challenge on him but it doesn’t seem to have any effect whatsoever.
“He’s shown you’re not going to stop him that way. He won’t be intimidated.”
United climbed to sixth when they overcame Tony Humes’ side. Swindon, meanwhile, are seventh after also avoiding defeat in five league outings.
“We are in the top six now and our aim is to stay in it,” Clough said. “It’s really tightened-up but, in past seasons, the teams who have gone on to do well are usually in or around it after 10 or 12 games.
“The mantra we have is don’t lose. That’s not being negative though because, building from that, we always try and go on to win.
“But that’s the platform you need to build from.”