Sheffield United: Clough comes out all guns blazing

Nigel Clough
Nigel Clough

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has insisted a top two finish is not beyond his team’s grasp ahead of this evening’s League One fixture at Notts County, writes James Shield.

And the former England international insisted last weekend’s victory over leaders Bristol City proves they have “absolutely nothing to fear” as the battle for automatic promotion enters a critical phase.

“We’re not going to be coming up against Barcelona or Bayern Munich,” Clough told The Star. “There’s nothing for these lads to be intimidated by at all.

“That’s not complacency or being disrespectful to our opponents because if there was any of that here then we’d clamp down on it hard. Just a reminder that they should go out there, express themselves, play their football and show exactly what they can do.

“They’ve just seen what happens when that is the case.”

United could move to within nine points of second place if they triumph at Meadow Lane tonight with a game in hand on three of their four teams above them in the rankings.

“We’ve never ever ruled the top two out,” Clough added. “There’s a third of the season still to go and a lot can happen in that time.

“Other people might have thought it was impossible. That’s up to them.

“But all we’ve ever done is try to do the best that we possibly can.”

United travel to County searching for a third straight victory in the competition and having scored seven goals in two games. Matt Done, a deadline day signing from Rochdale, is responsible for three after claiming a brace against City.

“Players can talk a lot of rubbish in the tunnel before matches,” Clough said. “But one of our lads, before we went out down there, mentioned the fact we had nothing to be scared of because we’d performed against teams like Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and West Ham in the (Capital One) cup this season.

“But we can still get a lot better. We still want more.

“All of the best sides, no matter what, can hurt you at any given moment no matter where they are on the pitch. And that’s why we’re challenging everyone to give us more if they can.”

Twitter: @JamesShield1

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