As Bramall Lane gears-up for this weekend’s FA Cup tie with Nottingham Forest, Nigel Clough has urged supporters not to forget the progress being made by Sheffield United’s academy team in its own knockout competition, writes James Shield.
Clough, whose side host Billy Davies’ side four days after tomorrow’s meeting with League One leaders Brentford, watched the South Yorkshire club’s under-18’s reach the later stages of the FA Youth Cup last month after beating Millwall at The New Den on penalties.
With a home draw against Everton their reward for winning that dramatic fourth round clash, the United manager last night revealed his desire to see a bumper crowd cheer on Travis Binnion’s team when they face Kevin Sheedy’s charges on Monday. (kick-off 7pm).
“The youngsters have shown great courage, skill and desire,” Clough said. “And for that they deserve to get our people’s backing.
“Developing home grown talent is central to what we are trying to build here. That’s been underlined by the fact that several of Travis’ players have been included in the first team squad of late.
“It’s a reward for their hard work, an important part of their education but they have also been given those places on merit.”
With the likes of Conor Dimaio, Diego De Girolamo and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all eligible for selection next week, Clough said: “We went to Millwall and were very impressed by what we saw, not least the work ethic, character and togetherness those lads showed.
“Everton, like ourselves, are a club which places a great deal of emphasis on bringing players through so it should be a really good occasion.”