I suppose it’s easy to understand fans’ reservations with the 4-5-1 system to which Nigel Clough has reverted, particularly when Sheffield United are at home.
But it’s a damn sight harder to knock it!
Witness two-goal substitute Michael Higdon being United’s only out-and-out striker on the pitch when he turned the Capital One Cup tie at MK Dons to put the Blades in the quarter finals.
Coming on top of three league wins, it seems to work.
Who leads the line – and how – appears to remain a poser in the absence of a self-picking goal scorer. Yet it was this same system that underpinned United’s startling revival under Clough last season (and run to the FA Cup semis) which, computed over the full campaign, would have delivered promotion. So it’s impossible to take issue now that the same strategy is clicking into gear.
Key is the midfield attacking flair and no little pace of Murphy, Scougall, Baxter, Campbell and Flynn.
Sacrificing one up top seems the way to harness the full range while keeping a solid shape.
But there are variations and you have to believe Clough when he says, effectively: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.