Alan Biggs at Large: Nigel Clough hit the right tone in Blades criticism

John Brayford escaped criticism
John Brayford escaped criticism
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Nigel Clough does single out individuals but on Tuesday he didn’t name them. Because nine or ten is too many.

The one he did mention, John Brayford, brings me to the point that Sheffield United’s manager identifies players for praise as well as criticism.

Alan Biggs

Alan Biggs

This is all too rare in the days of bland sound bites. Which is why, with a clear balance between the two, I can’t believe such candour drives any wedges in the dressing room.

Ironically, in a collective sense, Clough has been arguably too defensive of performances at times and this is where there HAS been a divide in another key relationship - with supporters.

But his biting tone after the 1-0 defeat at already relegated, pressure-free Yeovil playing under a new manager in Paul Sturrock – understandable but still unacceptable – hit the right note.

Certainly, tiredness is not an excuse for players or manager considering the depth and quality of United’s squad.

As Blades legend Brian Deane told me this week, putting the lie to a myth: “These players have got to step up... they’ve done it against big sides but it should be easier against the lesser ones.”

Just as well, fingers crossed, that the play-off games are as big as you can get.