Sheffield United’s Nigel Clough has paid tribute to Conor Coady and Brendan Rodgers, his managerial counterpart at Liverpool, after revealing the on-loan midfielder is expected to stay at Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.
United were last night poised to announce that Coady, who enters today’s League One fixture against Bristol City searching for his third goals in as many games, will remain with their squad until the end of the season following top-level talks between the two clubs.
Despite initially failing to command a regular place in Clough’s starting eleven, the 20-year-old has subsequently emerged as a driving force behind United’s battle for League One survival and march into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup where they are scheduled to meet with Charlton Athletic or neighbours Sheffield Wednesday next month.
“Conor’s attitude is absolutely spot-on,” Clough told The Star. “The best thing about him is his character and that is no slight on his ability as a player because he’s an excellent prospect too.
“What I mean is that it is excellent to see a young man, who has come from a club like Liverpool and who captained his country at the under-20 World Cup last summer, conduct himself in the manner that he does
“There is nothing flash Conor, there is no edge to him. All he is interested in is his profession and trying to become an even better player.
“It tells you all you need to know what the rest of the lads here have taken to him the way they have.”
Despite being signed by Clough’s predecessor David Weir last summer, Coady, who turns 21 shortly, has produced his best football since the former England international’s appointment four months ago.
Although Coady’s present arrangement is termed a ‘youth’ loan, which does not count towards United’s matchday quota, this must now be converted into a loan ‘proper.’
Confirming he would be “interested” in retaining Coady’s services should the opportunity arise next term, Clough said: “All of that depends upon circumstances and what Liverpool’s plans for his development are.
“But we are very grateful to them for letting us have Conor and a huge amount of credit must also go to Brendan over there. Some youngsters in Conor’s position have hardly played any matches whereas Conor has now got over 30 appearances under his belt.
“Brendan sees the value of that. Believe me, a lot of other people don’t.”