Sheffield United could tear-up a proposal which would have seen George Long return to Motherwell on loan next season following the departure of Nigel Clough, writes James Shield.
The former United manager told The Star he had held talks with the Scottish Premiership club, designed to extend Long’s temporary agreement with Ian Baraclough’s side, before being relieved of his duties earlier this week.
Long, who has represented England at under-18 and under-20 level, performed heroics during the first-leg of Motherwell’s promotion/relegation play-off against Rangers on Thursday evening. Although Clough confirmed Mark Howard would start next season in goal for United, the 21-year-old’s status is now in doubt given the recent events at Bramall Lane.
Long performed heroics as the North Lanarkshire club established a 3-1 lead ahead of tomorrow’s decisive return at Fir Park.
“George did ever, ever so well,” Baraclough said. “He was brave and as good as anybody out there.
“He’s young and he’s still developing. But he’s a big lump and, when you see the size of him, you want to see him come and command his area exactly the way he did.”
Rangers chief Stuart McCall, who made 89 appearances for United between 2002 and 2005, is expected to include Nicky Law, another graduate of the Redtooth Academy, in the squad which travels to Motherwell in 24 hours time.
“It’s so frustrating, but take nothing away from Motherwell,” McCall, Baraclough’s predecessor, said. “I thought they hit us on the break well. I’m sure had they played like that for the majority of the season they wouldn’t have finished 11th.
“But we gave the ball away cheaply too much. I cannot criticise the players because they’ve given everything since I’ve been here and have done well in the majority of the games.
“Darren McGregor’s late goal gives us a lifeline but Motherwell will be clear favourites and quite rightly so. The first goal on Sunday will be crucial and we’ve got to aim to get it.”