Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, is not convinced by suggestions that Tottenham Hotspur will rest some of their biggest names at White Hart Lane tonight, writes James Shield.
Instead, speaking ahead of his team’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, the former England international revealed the visitors expect Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Emmanuel Adebayor to all feature in the Argentine’s squad.
“Because it’s the closest they are to a final, I think this will be their ultimate focus,” Clough said. “They’re two games from getting to Wembley themselves, three games from winning a competition.
“Every manager wants to win a competition. Everybody wants to win something.
“Qualifying for Europe or the Champions League is a great achievement but you haven’t actually won anything. To actually lift some silverware at Wembley is a great feeling.
“That’s why you see Chelsea trying to go at it on all fronts and trying to win all competitions.”
Clough lifted the trophy twice as a player with Nottingham Forest and, despite United’s dwindling hopes of gaining automatic promotion from League One, vowed to name his strongest possible starting eleven in the capital.
“Players sense it. If you are leaving three or four out, they think you might not be that bothered, so it can have effect,” he said. “The workload shouldn’t be a problem because of the number of the games we play.
“We won’t find a game like this too much of a problem, it’s the one after. We played Southampton in the last round) on a Tuesday then played Walsall at home and drew 1-1.
“We have to put so much into these games just to be in them. It’s inevitable it has an effect on the next league game but then we pick ourselves up after that and carry on.
“We don’t have the luxury of a Premier League sized squad.”