Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, has urged his players to take a leaf out of Jose Mourinho’s book as they look to stamp their authority on the League One table, writes James Shield.
United resume their push for Championship football when newly promoted Rochdale visit Bramall Lane next weekend hoping to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to five games.
But, having beaten West Ham and drawn with fellow contenders Preston North End during that impressive sequence of results, Clough told The Star: “I was listening to Jose Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, not so long ago and he was adamant it was results against the more unfashionable teams, for want of a better phrase, that decided things over the course of a league season.
“It’s an interesting way of looking at things and, whether you agree or disagree, he was making an important point. That, psychologically speaking, you might get a boost from a positive result against one of the top sides but, no matter who you are facing, there are still three points up for grabs.
“And that never changes. So, if you beat or take something from one of the fancied teams, it’s important to try and follow that up.”
Like United, Simon Grayson’s Preston are expected to challenge for promotion this term.
“That’s the type of ruthless approach you’ve got to have if you want to achieve something in football,” Clough added. “A single-mindedness to perform no matter what the occasion.”