sami snaps at o’grady

Chris O'Grady
Chris O'Grady

Sami Hyypia, the Brighton and Hove Albion manager, has ordered Chris O’Grady to reveal if he wants to remain at Sheffield United.

O’Grady signed on loan with Nigel Clough’s side less than two weeks ago but has already indicated a desire to extend that agreement when it expires next month.

Brighton Manager Sami Hyypia

Brighton Manager Sami Hyypia

O’Grady, who was United’s top transfer target during the close season before electing for The AMEX Stadium instead, faces an uncertain future on the south coast after making only eight starts since a £500,000 transfer from Barnsley.

But, after learning that O’Grady is open to the possibility about staying until the end of the League One campaign, Hyypia said: “He hasn’t said that to me (wanting to stay).

“I expect that he is big enough to say it straight to my face if he doesn’t want to come back. I haven’t read those kind of things and I am not aware of it. He has my number as well, so if he has that kind of comment to make or that kind of opinion maybe he can call me and say it to me, then I would be able to comment more.”

O’Grady missed Saturday’s FA Cup second round victory over Plymouth Argyle after aggravating a calf problem but could be eligible for selection against Fleetwood Town this weekend.

The match marked Florent Cuvelier’s return to United’s first team after rupturing knee ligaments in January and the former Belgium under-21 midfielder celebrated his comeback by creating Marc McNulty’s goal after Jose Baxter had earlier scored twice from the penalty spot.

Clough, who is targeting “a home tie or one of the big names away” in this evening’s third round draw, confirmed Cuvelier is set for further opportunities after impressing with his ability and work ethic behind the scenes.

Baxter described how the 22-year-old had received a “round of applause” from team mates and coaching staff following the 3-0 win and Clough said: “Florent has shown he can be an important player for us going forward.

“Eleven months is a long time for a footballer to be out. He’s worked incredibly hard to get back and you’ve seen the difference in him.

“While Florent has been out he’s been able to watch the games and take everything on board. Physically, he’s improved and is probably much better equipped to handle League One football now than before.

“Plus, there’s the mental side of things too when you aren’t involved for such a long time. But he’s shown what he’s made of in that regard and, in a strange way, that might also serve him well.”

Cuvelier, recruited from Stoke City by Clough’s predecessor David Weir, was injured after being dispatched to Port Vale on loan.

“Florent couldn’t get in to begin with and that’s why we let him go out,” the United manager added. “Just to get some games.

“We’ve hardly seen anything of him since coming here to be honest but, during his time back involved, we’ve really liked the bits that we have seen.”