Sheffield United: Clough issues new challenge

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Nigel Clough has challenged Sheffield United’s youngsters to follow Will Hughes’ lead and force themselves into his first team squad next term, writes James Shield.

Clough was responsible for handing Hughes, widely regarded as one of English football’s most exciting talents, his senior debut before leaving Derby County 10 months ago.

Clough, whose players begin their pre-season preparations later this week, told The Star: “Somebody can always come out of nowhere. That’s exactly what Will did when we were there.

“We were playing a friendly at Sunderland and he got a chance. Will grasped it with both hands and we decided there and then that he would be involved so it just goes to show what can happen.”

Hughes, aged 19, yesterday signed a new four year contract at County after helping them reach the Championship play-off final two months ago. Liverpool are among the clubs known to be monitoring his development at the iPro Stadium.

“We watch everyone very closely,” Clough added. “So, no matter what level players are at with us, they should know that if they perform and show themselves to be ready then they’ll get a chance.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1