Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has insisted only a radical re-organisation of English football can prevent another FA Cup furore after his team’s third round tie at Aston Villa last weekend was engufled by the media storm surrounding Paul Lambert’s pre-match media briefing.
Lambert was forced to deny he had disrespected the tournament both before and after goals from Jamie Murphy and Ryan Flynn helped propel the visitors to a memorable victory over the Premier League club.
The Scot was criticised by supporters, commentators and counterparts alike when he suggested that most top-flight teams could do without the distraction of knockout competition as they chase top-flight survival.
Clough, who admitted he sympathised with Lambert’s predicament, said: “The money for being in the Premiership now is just so huge. That’s why it is the focus, the be-all and end-all, for so many people.”
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