Nigel Clough: Sheffield United appoint ex-Derby County boss

 

Sheffield United have appointed former Derby County boss Nigel Clough as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The 47-year-old, who was sacked by the Rams in September, replaces David Weir at Bramall Lane.

Weir was dismissed earlier this month after winning just one of his 10 league matches in charge of the Blades.

Clough's first game in charge of the struggling League One side is Saturday's home match against Crewe.

Sheffield United co-chairman Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud told the club website:  "Nigel was the clear, first choice of the board. He brings an approach to the game that is well suited to what we are trying to achieve at Sheffield United.

"Nigel has enjoyed managerial success in the game. He knows how to inspire first team players to give their all and has a proven track record of making an academy a key ingredient to the club's success.

"We count ourselves lucky to have Nigel aboard."

Former England international forward Clough started his managerial career with Burton Albion in 1998 after a successful playing career that took in stints with Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Analysis

I understand Clough is attracted by the potential at Sheffield United and, despite their parlous position in League One. was impressed by a crowd of over 18,500 last Saturday for the home match against Port Vale.

Clough was United's number one target but they've had to wait until his compensation claim - and that of his four backroom staff - against Derby County was settled.

Having guided the Brewers to the top of the Conference Premier, he left to take over Derby in January 2009, following in the footsteps of his late father Brian, who managed the club to the league title in the 1970s.

He was charged with cutting the wage bill and rebuilding the club after a disastrous one-season spell in the Premier League in 2007-08, where they had finished with a record low 11 points.

In his four full seasons in charge of the East Midlands side he failed to take the club into the Championship play-offs but did nurture young talent including Will Hughes and Mason Bennett.

Clough will become the fourth person to attempt to lead Sheffield United out of the third tier.

Danny Wilson took them to the play-off final in his only full season before being replaced by Chris Morgan on a caretaker basis for the run-in last season.

The Blades were beaten in the play-off semi-final by Yeovil and Weir was appointed on a three-year deal in June.

After winning his first league game, the Scot was to pick up just two more points from his following nine league games and was sacked following a 1-0 Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat by Hartlepool.

Morgan again stepped into the breach and took four points from his three games in charge to stop the slide but Clough must now set about helping the club make up the 13-point gap on the top six.

Clough brings former Derby coaches Gary Crosby and Andy Garner with him, while ex-skipper Morgan is being kept on.