Nigel Clough sacked: Sheffield United part ways with manager after failure to gain promotion from League One

Clough took the club to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup this season

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The Independent Football

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

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.

"The club would like to place on record its thanks to Nigel, as well as his backroom staff of Gary Crosby, Andy Garner, Martin Taylor, Simon Clough, Michael Forsyth and Matt Brown for their contribution to the club during their time at Bramall Lane and wish them all well for their future."

Clough took the reins at Bramall Lane in October 2013 with the club in the lower reaches of League One and steered the Blades away from danger and just missed out on the play-offs while also embarking on an FA Cup run which ended in a semi-final defeat to Hull at Wembley.

The onus was on delivering the Blades back to the Championship for the first time since 2011 this season, but it was again in the cup competitions where they excelled, reaching the last four of the League Cup where they suffered a two-legged defeat to Tottenham.

They stuttered into the top six of and were condemned to a fifth season in League One after a 7-6 aggregate defeat in the play-off semi-finals to Swindon, with the second leg, which proved to be Clough's last game in charge, ending 5-5 at the County Ground.