Sheffield United: Nigel factor has McMahon smiling again

Sheffield United right-back Tony McMahon.
Sheffield United right-back Tony McMahon.

Tony McMahon, the Sheffield United defender, has lauded Nigel Clough’s man management skills ahead of today’s Bramall Lane encounter with fellow strugglers Gillingham.

Clough, who began his managerial career at Burton Albion, has steered United to two wins from his three matches since penning a two-and-a-half-year deal with the League One club.

McMahon is enjoying Clough’s regime, stating that the former Derby County chief has “stripped things back” and focused hard on making the team more organised following David Weir’s ill-fated reign.

“Nigel has got a real presence,” said McMahon, who is still searching for his first goal this term. “He has made training enjoyable. There are a lot of five-a-sides; we like to get the ball down and play.

“That enjoyment has come back. It goes with results and when you are winning games because you’ve got a smile back on your face.

“The gaffer is good and kept the lads spirits up even when results haven’t gone our way. He has still been bright and smiling around the place. That’s the way you want it. You want to come into work and enjoy yourself.

“When you win games, you enjoy it a lot more. When you are losing, it is horrible. It spoils your week. We did lose a lot of games towards the start of the season. It was not nice for everyone but we stuck together and got through it.”

Goals have been hard to come by for United during the 2013/14 campaign. Centre-back Harry Maguire is currently their top scorer, having found the back of the net five times. Since Clough’s arrival, the highly-rated youngster has bagged three goals.

“Harry has been playing brilliant,” said McMahon. “He has played well and got his rewards with his goals. He has been different class.”