Nigel Clough believes Sheffield United can wrestle control of this season’s race for the Championship providing they show courage in the face of adversity, writes James Shield.
Clough delivered his verdict ahead of a pivotal weekend on the League One calendar which could see United close the gap between themselves and leaders Bristol City to just five points with a victory over Fleetwood Town.
The former England international said: “We’ve told the lads just to go out there, play with a smile on their faces and enjoy their football because they’ve got the ability, without a shadow of a doubt, to do that.
“But everything comes down to mental strength and we appreciate, at times, it can be difficult to do that.
“It all boils down to confidence. The confidence to take a pass if things aren’t going your way and the confidence to try and make the right pass if you didn’t quite achieve it last time around.”
United could reach their second semi-final in as many seasons when they host Southampton in the Capital One Cup next week. They advanced into the third round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle four days ago and Clough, who led United to within 90 minutes of the contesting the trophy last term, said: “We’ll take confidence from scoring those goals at home because things had been tough, results wise, beforehand.
“It’s not about formations. It’s about the confidence of the players.”