Sheffield United: No crisis says Clough

Blades boss Nigel Clough
Blades boss Nigel Clough
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Nigel Clough has rubbished claims that last weekend’s victory over Doncaster Rovers averted a crisis at Bramall Lane.

And, speaking ahead of tonight’s FA Cup first round replay against Crewe Alexandra, the Sheffield United manager urged supporters to “rally behind” his team as the club attempts to plot a course through the most difficult period in its recent history.

Clough’s side climbed back into the League One play-off positions when they overcame their rivals from the Keepmoat Stadium three days ago and the former England international said: “We kept hearing that we were in crisis but we’re averaging something like two points per game since September.

“wIf that’s a crisis, then I’d hate to see what it’s like when there really is one. It doesn’t irritate me when people say they think we’ve been underachieving. I just happen to think that they’re wrong.

“Like at lot of things that have been reported or written lately, it’s untrue.”

United’s preparations for games in recent weeks have been overshadowed by the furore surrounding Ched Evans’ request to train with Clough’s squad after being released from prison following his conviction for rape in 2012.

Evans, who has maintained his innocence since being found guilty of the offence at Caernarfon Crown Court, scored 48 goals in 113 appearances for United.

Clough, who expressed his “pride” at the near 4500 strong following they enjoyed at Rovers, said: “That was absolutely incredible. And I’m not just talking about for a League One team either. It was just incredible full stop.

“It’s great when they are behind you like that and we, as a group of staff and players, can’t thank them enough.

“When you are going through a difficult period, it’s important that we rally behind each other and stick together as a group.”