Sheffield United: Clough looks to keep things simple

Harry Maguire scores during Sheffield United's League One draw with Colchester earlier this term � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Harry Maguire scores during Sheffield United's League One draw with Colchester earlier this term � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, will refuse to blind his team with science ahead of this weekend’s game against Colchester, writes James Shield.

Instead, the visitors are poised to enter the FA Cup clash under orders to accentuate their own strengths rather than obsess about the merits of Joe Dunne’s side.

“I’m not a big believer in going on too much about the opposition,” Clough said. “That’s not disrespectful, it’s just that we prefer to focus on doing what we can do rather than worrying too much about others.

“Don’t get me wrong, our players are given all the information that they are going to need. But we keep it basic and to a minimum, perhaps 10 or 15 minutes, something like that.”

Clough, who took charge at Bramall Lane last month, could be tempted to ring the changes for Saturday’s first round tie.

Defender Neill Collins was withdrawn during the half-time interval of last weekend’s defeat by Shrewsbury Town after taking a blow to the head while Febian Brandy is suspended.

Forwards Jose Baxter, Shaun Miller and Chris Porter, who recently spent a month on loan at Chesterfield, are all eligible for selection.

Colchester are without Jeffrey Monakana after the winger’s parent club Preston North End refused him permission to play in knockout competition. Sanchez Watt is still recuperating from a muscle problem.

“It’s one thing after another with Sanchez and it’s desperately disappointing for the lad,” Dunne, whose squad has been blighted by injury this term, said. “We’re trying to find out where these things are coming from. We have an idea. It’s not necessarily down to the training,”

Tickets for the visit to Colchester are now on sale, priced £16.50 (adults), £13 (18-21), £11 (seniors and under-18’s), £5 (under-14’s) and £3 (under-eight) until 5pm Thursday. Ambulant/carer tickets and wheelchair/carer tickets priced £11 are also available. Supporters will be able to gain admission via the turnstiles before the match but not at a discounted price.