Clough backs brother to unearth new talent

Nigel Clough's first game as Blades boss. (''rossparry.co.uk / Tom Maddick)
Nigel Clough's first game as Blades boss. (''rossparry.co.uk / Tom Maddick)
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NEW Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough is confident another member of his footballing family will prove a sound addition for the Blades.

The former Derby County chief leads out United for the first time this afternoon after being unveiled on Wednesday, with his brother Simon forming part of his backroom team after joining the club’s scouting structure.

Simon and Nigel both used to travel regularly to games with their late father, Brian, who took Derby and Nottingham Forest to such great heights in the Seventies and Eighties, with the Blades chief admitting his sibling’s shrewd eye for a player struck gold during his time with the Rams.

Clough, who insists every Blades player will have a ‘clean slate’ and has no preconceptions regarding team selection, said: “Simon was with us for three or four years at Derby on the recruitment side.

“The thinking behind it is that over the past 40 years, we have watched football together with my dad, of course – from European Cup finals to Conference North and to places like St Albans.

“When you watch that much football, he knows what we are looking for in a player. He was instrumental in bringing people like Craig Bryson into Derby and plenty of others.”

Clough has paid rich tribute to the work of caretaker-manager Chris Morgan for steadying the ship with four points from the Blades’ last two league games after they hit the rocks under David Weir.

On Morgan, who will oversee the Under-21 set-up and will be an integral part of his coaching set-up at Bramall Lane, Clough said: “It’s so important there’s someone like Chris around who has been here so many years and knows everyone at the club.

“The way he has prepared the team in the last couple of games has produced two very good performances, by all accounts.

“You can’t underestimate that when they hadn’t won for so long. They won last Saturday and got a 0-0 at one of the (promotion) favourites on Tuesday.

“He got a result at home in front of 18,500 anxious people here which probably should have been more convincing and followed it up with a good clean sheet.”

A thigh injury to striker Jose Baxter is the biggest worry for Clough ahead of his Blades managerial bow.