Character as well as calibre will shape Sheffield United’s policy in the transfer market, manager Nigel Clough vowed last night.
Bramall Lane’s hierarchy, who earlier this week saw a £100,000 bid for Gary Mackay-Steven rejected by Dundee United’s board of directors, have given Clough and his staff the green light to strengthen the options at their disposal before next month’s deadline for permanent signings.
Although the former England international has compiled “a very long list” of potential acquisitions, including former loanee Chris O’Grady, he revealed: “There’s playing ability to consider of course and then character comes into it, certainly. We know we have a decent set of lads and a couple of bad ones can upset everything.
“You see it happening at other clubs all the time. A couple of bag eggs can turn another few and all of a sudden, you have got yourself a split squad. We don’t want to endanger what we have here right now.”
United, who face Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup semi-finals later this month, reached the fourth round of the FA Cup when they beat Queens Park Rangers 3-0 at Loftus Road five days ago. However, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s League One encounter against Preston North End, Clough insisted his words should not be interpreted as a slight on Andy Butler following the central defender’s recent move to Doncaster Rovers.
“He has worked with Paul Dickov before and done well there on loan,” Clough said. “It’s best we move on and put it all behind.
“Andy has got a good move to League One, near where he lives in Doncaster, so it’s ideal and we wish him all the best. I will do. He is on my list to call.”