Opinion: Fans’ Honour in defeat

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They may have seen their team beaten, but Sheffield United fans can today hold their heads up high after the club did itself proud at Wembley.

To lose to a Premier League team is no disgrace and the manner of the team’s performance has won them new admirers.

Manager Nigel Clough has every reason to thank the fans for their magnificent support and they have every reason to thank him for turning round the most desperate of situations.

Just remember where United have dragged themselves from this season.

When Clough was appointed after David Weir’s sacking the Blades were in the relegation places.

While, on paper, they always looked good enough to escape the drop zone it was worrying times for the club.

The Blades are now 11th and have teased Unitedites in recent weeks with a possible push for the play-offs.

That may be just out of reach but it shows how fortunes have changed since Clough came to Bramall Lane.

The run has been put together with some style, too.

In the FA Cup two Premier League teams were dispatched – Aston Villa in the third round and Fulham in the fourth.

The victory at Fulham in the replay was the start of a 10-match winning streak in all competitions, which not only included progress in the cup but also helped turn any relegation worries into faint hopes of promotion.

While United made us proud yesterday, all the rest of our teams bar Sheffield Wednesday are still involved in either promotion or relegation.

Wednesday, while not mathematically safe, must now be assured of another season in the Championship.

The same can’t be said for Barnsley while Doncaster Rovers hover precariously above the bottom three and could do with a win.

Rotherham United are set for the League One play-offs after a brilliant season and Chesterfield are still looking good for a top three promotion place finish from League Two.

What a season and what a Wembley day as the Blades scored three in a semi-final to remember.