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Sheffield United sack manager Nigel Clough

Sheffield United have sacked Nigel Clough after the club missed out on League One promotion.

Clough has been dismissed by the Blades. Credit: PA

The Blades, who reached the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup, were beaten in the play-off semi-finals by Swindon and have been condemned to a fifth year in the third tier.

Clough has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect, with his coaching staff of Gary Crosby and Andy Garner following through the exit door.

A club statement read:

Sheffield United today announce that Nigel Clough, the club's first-team manager, and his management staff, are to leave Bramall Lane with immediate effect following the decision by the board that a change in direction was necessary for the forthcoming season.

The search for the club's new first-team manager will now start and it is hoped that this will result in identifying and recruiting the right candidate within a relatively short period of time.

– Sheffield United club statement

Baxter and McCarey fail drugs tests

Blades midfielder Jose Baxter failed a drugs test. Credit: PA

Sheffield United midfielder Jose Baxter and Wolves goalkeeper Aaron McCarey have both failed drugs tests and been placed under suspension, their clubs have announced.

A statement from Sheffield United on Saturday evening announced that "traces of a banned substance" were found when Baxter underwent Football Association testing.

Wolves said McCarey had failed a test for "a non-performance enhancing substance".

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All square between Preston and Sheffield United

Paul Gallagher scored from a free-kick. Credit: PA

Diego De Girolamo scored his first goal for Sheffield United as last season's FA Cup semi-finalists earned a fourth-round replay with a 1-1 draw at Deepdale.

Preston began the brighter and Paul Gallagher opened the scoring on 19 minutes but Italy under-20 international De Girolamo struck midway through the second half for the Blades.

Captain tells Sheffield United to up game for Spurs clash

Sheffield United captain Michael Doyle accepts his side must lift their game to an even higher level if they are to pull off another upset in their two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final against Tottenham.

But the Irish midfielder insists if the tie is still alive after Wednesday night's first leg at White Hart Lane, Nigel Clough's cup specialists will have "a brilliant chance" in the return leg at Bramall Lane.

Michael Doyle will lead his team out at White Hart Lane. Credit: PA

"There's a lot to play for and I'm sure Tottenham will be fired up," Doyle said. "They'll look at our previous results and performances in other cup games and I'm sure they'll take note of that.

"They won't underestimate us, especially as we've come so far and they'll be looking to finish it in the first leg, so we've got to be on our guard.

"I just hope we can keep the tie alive. If we can, coming back to Bramall Lane will give us a brilliant chance."

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Dyke: Ched Evans' return to football 'is not clear cut'

The issue of whether convicted rapist Ched Evans should return to football is "not clear cut", FA chairman Greg Dyke has said.

While Dyke refused to give his own view on Sheffield United allowing Evans to train following his release from prison, he said there is a "straightforward question" that needs to be answered.

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said there is a 'straightforward question' that needs to be answered. Credit: Patrick Seeger/DPA/Press Association Images

He told BBC's Newsnight: "Here's the straightforward question - are people who go to prison entitled to come out of prison and to try and rebuild their lives or aren't they?

"Or is what they've done so bad and because they're in an industry where their image is important - and that's the dilemma and it's not clear cut."

Ched Evans' aunt: 'He will never show remorse'

Ched Evans' aunt has attacked the footballer for not apologising to the victim of the rape for which he was convicted.

Nina Evans, 56, told the Sun: “Ched won’t grasp or listen. He won’t admit he’s done wrong. He’ll never show remorse.”

Footballer Ched Evans outside court. Credit: PA

Ms Evans, who works as an addiction counsellor and sometimes treats rape victims, said she was very disappointed in a video apology her nephew made.

In the video Evans apologised to girlfriend Natasha Massey but did not mention his victim.

“It cut me like a knife. I hoped he’d come to his senses and say the right thing. What about his poor victim? It’s a massive insult to her," Ms Evans said.

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