Sheffield United: Clough’s issues derby reminder

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough oversees training this week � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough oversees training this week � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
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Nigel Clough last night expressed hopes that Sheffield United’s defeat at Chesterfield earlier this month will serve as a “valuable lesson” to his players ahead of tomorrow’s match against Bradford City, writes James Shield.

Fourteen days after being beaten in controversial circumstances at the Proact Stadium, where centre-forward Michael Higdon was dismissed after having a goal mistakenly disallowed, United head to West Yorkshire for the second of eight derbies they are scheduled to contest during the 2014/15 League One campaign.

Although Clough later insisted an erratic performance from the match officials had been a mitigating factor, Clough acknowledged United’s poor decision making had also contributed to their demise.

And, speaking as they prepare to return to action following last weekend’s draw with Leyton Orient, the former England international told The Star: “Hopefully, what happened at Chesterfield will be a valuable lesson. A reminder, if you like, about what you need to do in situations such as this.

“We’ve got some good experience here, people who are used to being in big game situations and highly-charged atmospheres such as the one we’re going to encounter at Bradford. They know how they should be going about things and what they’ve got to do.”

Higdon, who completes the final match of the suspension he received for a challenge on Chesterfield’s Daniel Jones, is expected to be United’s most notable absentee during their televised encounter at the Coral Windows Stadium.

James Hanson is a doubt for City but Phil Parkinson, Clough’s counterpart, believes he could be available for the televised fixture, (kick-off 5.15pm), between the division’s seventh and 10th placed clubs.

“It’s an occasion we’re looking forward too because it should be a good game,” Clough said. “We know it will be difficult but we also aim to make it the same for them.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1