An advocate of traditional methods and renowned for his intolerance towards many aspects of the modern game, Nigel Clough has nevertheless vowed to embrace perhaps its dearest principle as Sheffield United finalise their preparations for tomorrow’s League One fixture with Crawley Town.
The match, United’s fifth outing since returning to competitive action a fortnight ago, is expected to see Clough continue rotating the options at his disposal after making five changes to the visitors’ starting eleven at Peterborough in midweek.
Although goals from Jose Baxter and Ben Davies delivered their first points of the new season, the former England international has indicated United are unlikely to stick with the players who began Wednesday’s contest against John Gregory’s side.
“At this stage, it can be difficult to be as settled as you’d ordinarily like,” Clough told The Star. “For example, we rested Michael Higdon down there because he’s not quite fit enough yet to handle games every single Saturday and Tuesday but he will, of course get there.
“There are also some very good players here who are bound to be disappointed because we’ve not been able to really get them out there on the pitch.
“But this is going to be a long hard season and, what I can say is, that everyone will be utilised over the course of that.”
Higdon, Stefan Scougall and Bob Harris are among those hoping for recalls ahead of the meeting with a Crawley team which boasts a record of ‘W2 D0 L1’ in league competition so far this term. Chris Porter, Stephen McGinn and Andy Butler could also return after featuring in the Capital One Cup success over Mansfield nine days ago.
Clough, whose side face West Ham United in the second round next week, said: “We’ll see how Stefan is because he’s been carrying a bit of a knock but everyone who was involved at Peterborough has staked a claim.”