Sheffield United’s senior players have been told to take responsibility for helping younger members of Nigel Clough’s squad cope with the rigours of League One football, writes James Shield,
Clough, the United manager, issued his directive after admitting exciting talents such as Marc McNulty, Louis Reed and Harrison McGahey are still “learning the game” despite making impressive starts to their Bramall Lane careers.
McNulty enters tomorrow’s match against Crewe Alexandra searching for his fourth goal in as many outings following a summer move from Livingston while McGahey could make only his 20th senior appearance at Gresty Road.
Clough said: “There’s nothing I hate to see more than an older head bawling at one of his less experienced colleagues in the wrong manner. It’s not what we are about and we don’t stand for it here.
“If you do something wrong then, when you are coming through the ranks as it were, then a b********g from one of the senior lads is all part and parcel of that learning curve. You expect it, as we all did when we were making our way in the game, and you take it on board but it has to be given in the right manner.
“If it ever went too far, though, then rest assured it’s something we would come down very hard on. We are all in this together, all part of the same group and all want the same thing which is the best for this football club.”
Clough added: “Marc and Harrison have done ever so well but there are still areas where they can improve. One of those, beyond their main jobs, is not doing daft things like giving away silly free-kicks in dangerous areas.
“It’s a process that all of us here, myself included, have gone through when we were learning our trades.”