Clough’s tribute to Blades fans as his side book place in another semi-final

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Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough paid tribute to his side’s supporters after the Bramall Lane side booked their place in the League Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

A vociferous home crowd roared United on to a 1-0 victory over Premier League side Southampton, thanks to Marc McNulty’s close-range strike.

Sheffield United v Southampton  16.12.14'pic Martyn Harrison'Marc McNulty & Michael Doyle - Sheffield United ''� copyright : Blades Sports Photography

Sheffield United v Southampton 16.12.14'pic Martyn Harrison'Marc McNulty & Michael Doyle - Sheffield United ''� copyright : Blades Sports Photography

And Clough, who last season guided United to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, said: “We’ve had some special nights at this club, but this is right up there. It says a lot that the lads are disappointed that we only scored once!

“We created a few opportunities and their goalkeeper [England’s Fraser Forster] made two or three good saves.

“But I hope the fans realised that even after we scored, we stayed on the front foot and were positive, trying to look for a second.

“I’m delighted that we were able to send them home early. It’s been an incredible run over the last eight months and it was great to be able to send the fans home happy.

Sheffield United v Southampton  16.12.14'pic Martyn Harrison' Nigel Clough - Sheffield United ''� copyright : Blades Sports Photography

Sheffield United v Southampton 16.12.14'pic Martyn Harrison' Nigel Clough - Sheffield United ''� copyright : Blades Sports Photography

“The league can be a bit of a slog sometimes so cup wins can be a highlight. It’s a couple of weeks before Christmas, we’ve had a lot of home games and there’s been a lot of expense so we appreciate each and every one of them coming out and supporting us.”

Clough also paid tribute to his United squad, with a number of players played out of position and Che Adams and Kieran Wallace, formerly of Ilkeston FC, playing key roles from the bench.

“The lads were magnificent,” Clough said.

“Especially when you consider we had a right winger [Ryan Flynn] at right-back, a midfielder at centre-half in Chris Basham, left-back Jay McEveley at centre-half, a 17-year-old in Louis Reed in midfield, Flo Cuvelier who has been out for a year in the team and then two lads who were at Ilkeston Town, playing in front of a couple of hundred, a month ago. It’s some story.”