Sheffield United: Clough reckons Diego could retain his place

Diego De Girolamo was named on the bench at Fulham

Diego De Girolamo was named on the bench at Fulham

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Diego De Girolamo is poised to retain his place in Sheffield United’s squad for today’s crucial League One encounter with Shrewsbury Town, Nigel Clough has confirmed.

But the United manager revealed fellow academy graduate Conor Dimaio, who was also named on the bench for the FA Cup tie at Fulham, will make way for on-loan centre-forward Billy Paynter after he was forced to miss the fourth round replay with Rene Meulensteen’s side.

“We’ll probably leave Diego in there,” Clough said. “But with Billy coming back it might be that Conor drops out for this one.

“We very nearly brought one of them (De Girolamo and Dimaio) on at Craven Cottage. But, in the end, we went for Shaun (Miller) because of the way that the match was going and a few things we’d seen developing on the pitch.”

Clough, whose side could climb out of the relegation zone if they beat fellow strugglers Shrewsbury, was rewarded when Miller scored the only goal of the game against Fulham with less than 60 seconds of extra time remaining. The 26-year-old has struggled for form since returning from a long absence through injury earlier this term.

“We very nearly started with Shaun down there,” Clough said. “We had a hunch he’d score because often, when you’ve been struggling in front of goal, you get a break at the time you least expect it.

“It was just a feeling that we had and we were delighted for Shaun it proved right.”