Sheffield United have been ordered to follow Chelsea’s lead by strangling the life out of opponents.
Nigel Clough, the League One club’s manager, identified Jose Mourinho’s side as the perfect example for his players to follow if they want to enhance their promotion credentials this term.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Yorkshire derby at Bradford City, Clough told The Star: “Chelsea are the absolute masters at getting themselves in front and then holding onto leads. I watched them play Arsenal not so long ago and, as soon as they got a goal, they never once looked like letting that lead slip away. You knew right there and then that they were going to win the game.
“That’s the mentality that all the top players have. They are so, so ruthless and it’s the mentality we want to have too.
“That, come what may, the other team isn’t going to get one over on us. If the lads want to study anyone at the moment then they could dop a lot worse than them, it’s the first place they should start.”
United head to the Coral Windows Stadium 10th in the table after drawing with Leyton Orient last weekend. City are seventh after being beaten by 13th placed Barnsley who visit Bramall Lane later this month.
Clough added: “It’s all about the group. Take Oscar in that Arsenal match for example. He’s a playmaker, someone whose job, on the face of it, is to get at defences but there were moments in that Arsenal match when he was running back 50 or 60 yards to put a tackle in on the edge of his own penalty area.
“There are different departments to any side but they (Chelsea) defend as a team and they attack as a team. That’s why they are so tough to play against, because they demand that of each other.
“We’ve got it here to be exactly the same.”