Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has leapt to the defence of his players following criticism of recent displays at Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.
United are preparing for Saturday’s visit to Fleetwood Town fifth in the League One table after taking only two points from their last three games but the former England international last night warned it would be a mistake to write-off the club’s hopes of achieving automatic promotion.
“If we had picked up some points in our last home games, all of a sudden, we are challenging the top two,” he said. “Four or six weeks ago after a game, one of the coaches rang me and said: ‘You are coming on now and starting your build-up’. “We were but we lost a little bit. Not with the performances but results.”
Clough added: “Teams are coming here again and getting behind the ball. I don’t think some are intending to do that as we are putting them on the back foot a lot of the time.
“MK Dons and Barnsley were two of the best (performances) lately and we got nothing.
“The MK Dons game could have been the cup semi-final with the intensity. For a Tuesday night league game, it was pretty fierce and it didn’t surprise me they lost their next one because they’d put so much in.
“You get anomalies. Look at Southampton versus Manchester United the other night.
“Southampton played well and got beat 2-1. As long as it doesn’t happen too often then you can’t get too het-up because that’s football sometimes unfortunately.”