Nigel Clough has admitted he can not understand why some clubs are prepared to sacrifice success in knockout competition in order to focus purely on the league, writes James Shield.
And the Sheffield United manager, whose side visit MK Dons in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup this evening, dismissed claims that reaching the later stages of the tournament could compromise its efforts to bring Championship football back to Bramall Lane.
Clough said: “You only get four opportunities to win or do well in something each season so why would you want to throw one of those away? That makes no sense to me whatsoever.
“Our next four games are all in different competitions so, we’ve reminded the lads, that we don’t want to find ourselves chasing just one target in a few weeks time.
“Yes, we play a lot of matches. Especially at this level and that places demands on your squad.
“But, strangely enough, if you want to be successful then that means you’re going to play more. We might sound a little bit old fashioned but, in this instance, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Quite the contrary in fact.”
United reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup earlier this year while Bradford City, beaten by their hosts at stadium:mk last month, faced Swansea in the final of this competition two seasons ago.
“Hopefully attitudes are changing a bit,” Clough said. “I hope they are.”