Febian Brandy has been told he faces a fight to regain his Sheffield United place after being omitted from the Blades squad for today’s trip to high-flying Leyton Orient.
The Blades may be in the League One relegation zone and need all the help possible, but manager Nigel Clough is determined to instill new discipline levels at Bramall Lane.
Former Walsall winger Brandy has just served a four-match ban for his red card against Shrewsbury Town – his premature exit cost United victory, claims Clough – but he was not in the 19-man squad which travelled to London last night.
“He has been sent off twice this season and that’s the ultimate in letting your team-mates down,” Clough told the Yorkshire Post yesterday.
“I don’t know what he did the first time, but we saw the second one at Shrewsbury – the petulant way which he reacted – and it cost us the game.
“We have seen him for 10 minutes on the pitch, the lads have have done pretty well in his absence, battling away.
“We don’t think it’s right that he should come straight back in,” he said.
“There’s times when you need to get booked in a football match and you need to save those times as well. Don’t get booked for dissent, for arguing with referees, kicking the ball away. They’re a waste.”
Defender Harry Maguire does return though from his own one-game suspension after collecting five bookings.
“Harry is probably the outstanding centre-half that we have,” said Clough. “He’s a leader and has got amongst the goals this season too.
“He (Brandy) is available, but we have 19 without him, I thought Jamie Murphy did quite well when he came on.
“Febian has got to work, show us something in training and the under-21s on Tuesday that he deserves to get back in the squad.
“We never had a player suspended at Derby over two years for an accumulation of bookings. We had a couple of sendings off but nobody reached five yellows.
“We try to encourage the lads not to give free-kicks away, because it’s coming in your penalty area,” added Clough.
“We have enough problems as it is.
“The best teams have the best disciplinary records.”