Sheffield United: Clough calls for an FA Cup re-think

Che Adams has impressed Nigel Clough since arriving at Bramall Lane � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
Che Adams has impressed Nigel Clough since arriving at Bramall Lane � copyright : Blades Sports Photography

Nigel Clough has called on FA Cup chiefs to change the competition’s rules after confirming that Che Adams is ineligible for selection against Plymouth Argyle, writes James Shield.

The Sheffield United manager, speaking ahead of today’s second round tie with John Sheridan’s side, urged administrators to examine whether appearances in qualifying should prohibit players from featuring for a different club during the tournament proper.

Adams, together with fellow new signing Kieran Wallace, were part of Ilkeston’s campaign to reach the first round before joining United earlier this season and Clough told The Star: “Che and Kieran are cup-tied because they played for Ilkeston. I understand the rule but it seems a shame because this would have been the perfect moment to get Che involved.

“Why not do something whereby, when it gets to the first round, you start again and the slate gets wiped clean?

“Che has been on the bench in all of the last few matches but it’s never been quiet the right moment to bring him on.

“Ideally, we don’t want to do that if we are chasing a game. But it’s only a matter of time before he does get out there.”

Paddy McCarthy, on loan from Crystal Palace, will also sit out the visit of Argyle who are sixth in the League Two table.

With Chris O’Grady nursing a calf complaint, United could ask Michael Higdon to spearhead their attack as they look to repeat last season’s march into the semi-finals.

Although United have failed to win any of their previous three outings at Bramall Lane after being beaten by MK Dons four days ago, Clough said: “The goals will come. Jose Baxter has hit a bit of a wall in recent weeks and we’ve had the two lads out injured.

“It would have been nice to see Michael after his two against MK Dons in the cup. Instead, like Marc (McNulty), he was then out for a couple of weeks.

“Michael is a momentum player. All strikers are and very few of them can dip in and dip out again while maintaining the same level of performance.

“Strikers thrive on getting a run of games, even if it’s coming off the bench. They enjoy being part of that matchday 18.

“Michael was disappointed, as we were, after the Notts County match but he’s just got to get back to where he was before the injury because he was really starting to show something then.

“Who knows? He could get an opportunity here.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1