Sheffield United: Clough throws down the gaunlet after cup draw

Sheffield United's Stephen McGinn (right) during last summer's friendly at Mansfield Town � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Sheffield United's Stephen McGinn (right) during last summer's friendly at Mansfield Town � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Sheffield United will chase honours on four fronts next season, manager Nigel Clough has confirmed, after his team were paired against Mansfield Town in the Capital One Cup, writes James Shield.

United are scheduled to host Paul Cox’s side the week commencing August 11 following yesterday’s draw first round draw with next season’s League One schedule set to be unveiled this morning.

Despite acknowledging that regaining Championship status must take top priority, Clough insisted United’s promotion prospects could be irrevocably damaged if they adopt a relaxed approach towards the knockout competitions.

“Winning is a habit and it’s a habit we’ll be happy to develop,” Clough said. “We were brought up in an era when, it didn’t matter what the game was, you went out there to win it.

“You can’t switch it on and off like a tap. Football doesn’t work like that.”

United pocketed an estimated £2m en route to last term’s FA Cup semi-finals and have used that money to help bankroll a recruitment drive which has seen the likes of Chris Basham, Andy Butler and Marc McNulty arrive at Bramall Lane in recent weeks while Barnsley centre-forward Chris O’Grady is another potential target.

Clough, who also led the South Yorkshire club from 21st to seventh in the table after taking charge eight months ago, added: “We want to do as well as we possibly can in everything but, yes, trying to get promotion is the most important thing.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1