Nigel Clough: Sheffield United sack manager

Nigel Clough
Nigel Clough has also managed at Derby and Burton Albion

Nigel Clough has been sacked as the manager of Sheffield United.

The Blades reached the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup but finished fifth in League One and failed to gain promotion through the play-offs.

A statement on the club's website said: "A change in direction was necessary for the forthcoming season."

Clough, 49, had managerial spells at Burton Albion and Derby County manager before replacing David Weir at Bramall Lane in October 2013.

Clough's managerial CV
Burton Albion: Clough started his managerial career at Burton in 1998, where in 2008-09 he led them from the Conference Premier into League Two.Derby County: Clough joined Derby in January 2009, following in the footsteps of his late father, Brian, but failed to reach the Championship play-offs and was sacked in September 2013.
Sheffield United: Appointed in October 2013 with the Blades in League One relegation zone, he helped the team to seventh and the FA Cup semi-finals.Sheffield United: In 2014-15 season, Clough led the team to the League Cup semi-finals and fifth in League One, but they were beaten in the play-off semi-finals by Swindon.

Clough's backroom staff of Gary Crosby, Andy Garner, Martin Taylor, Simon Clough, Michael Forsyth and Matt Brown will also leave the club, which faces a fifth successive year in the third tier.

The club statement added: "The search for the club's new first-team manager will now start and it is hoped this will result in identifying and recruiting the right candidate within a relatively short period of time.

"The club would like to place on record its thanks to Nigel, as well as his backroom staff."

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.

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.

Giant killing under Clough
4 January, 2014 (FA Cup third round): Aston Villa 1-2 Sheffield United
4 February, 2014 (FA Cup fourth round replay): Fulham 0-1 Sheffield United (after extra time)
16 February, 2014 (FA Cup fifth round): Sheffield United 3-1 Nottingham Forest
9 March 2014 (FA Cup sixth round): Sheffield United 2-0 Charlton Athletic
26 August 2014 (League Cup second round): West Ham 1-1 Sheffield United (United won 5-4 on penalties)
16 December 2014 (League Cup quarter-final): Sheffield United 1-0 Southampton
4 January 2015 (FA Cup 3rd round): QPR 0-3 Sheffield United