Nigel Clough last night revealed he feels “very proud” to become Sheffield United manager, writes James Shield.
The former England international signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the League One club yesterday after agreeing a compensation package with previous employers Derby County.
Clough, who will take charge of United for the first time when Crewe Alexandra visit Bramall Lane this weekend, said: “Whenever I’ve come here either to watch games or as a member of the opposition, I’ve always left thinking ‘that’s a proper football club.’ The potential here is huge and those were major factors in our decision.
“The support of the fan base here, though, was probably the biggest thing. To get over 18 thousand people in for our last home game tells you all you need to know.
“And you can’t go anywhere without that. The job was instantly attractive.
“Just look around. The stadium is excellent and the infrastructure is superb.”
Nevertheless Clough, who is joined by coaches Gary Crosby and Andy Garner, conceded United will ultimately be judged on results.
They prepare to host Steve Davis’ side ranked 21st in the table despite securing a creditable draw at second-placed Peterborough two days ago.
Paying tribute to the work of Chris Morgan, who was appointed as caretaker when David Weir was sacked earlier this month, Clough said: “Let’s be realistic, our first task is to get out of the bottom four. Then we can assess what we might need, what might need to be tweaked and then take things from there.”
“We are not miracle workers,” Clough, who spent four years at Pride Park, added. “It takes time to mould and build a team but we know what the priority is.
“I’m looking forward to working with Chris Morgan and, looking at our last two matches, things are turning around.”
Clough initially stated he would take a break from football after leaving County on September 28.
“I’ve had one of those for three-and-a-half weeks,” he said. “I’ve been around the house since then probably driving my wife mad.
“I’m a very proud man to have been given this opportunity.
“In any case, why wait? Are there better clubs in the Championship than this one?
“I’ve given my answer by being here.”
“We don’t need to build a football club here,” Clough, who started his coaching career at Burton Albion, continued. “Those things are already set-up.
“The best clubs are those with stability but I know that you’ve also got to be seen to make progress.”
United’s co-owner Kevin McCabe, describing Clough’s arrival as “Derby’s loss and our gain,” confirmed the 47-year-old will have funds placed at his disposal to strengthen the squad.
But Clough said: “We won’t make snap decisions. We’ll assess things and everyone has a clean slate.
“A good example of that is Robbie Savage at Derby who had been ostracised when we turned-up but then went on to be a key player.”