Sheffield United: Nigel Clough warns League One rivals that Blades are going to batter someone

Nigel Clough
Nigel Clough
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Nigel Clough has insisted Sheffield United are poised to administer a hiding to one unlucky opponent after hailing the spirit and camaraderie within his team.

Clough issued his warning following Saturday’s clash with Leyton Orient which saw them overwhelm last season’s play-off finalists during the second-half of a dramatic contest before Romain Vincelot’s 98th minute goal earned the visitors a draw.

Despite expressing his frustration at United’s failure to record what would have been a fifth consecutive win at Bramall Lane, Clough said: “If a reasonable percentage of our chances go in and we get a break in front of goal, there will be a hiding for somebody. Absolutely and without a doubt.

“We hit the woodwork twice, had shots cleared off the line two or three times, a penalty appeal turned down and somebody somehow managed to get one over the bar from a yard out.

“We had another disallowed for offside. We’re not far off, make no mistake about that.”

United appeared to be on the brink of a memorable victory when Paddy McCarthy and Marc McNulty scored in the 90th and 91st minutes following Jay Simpson’s opener for Orient who were reduced to 10 men when Jobi McAnuff was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

“We just keep going,” Clough said. “We’ve got that great belief and we keep wearing teams down.

“You just get that feeling, especially when you’re attacking that Kop end, that it’s coming. There were that many chances and that many good crosses going in.

“Against a lesser team, we’d have scored more and earlier. They defended for their lives.

“You can see teams really hanging on against us and on their knees at times. We just keep going and try to keep the intensity there and keep pounding away at them.”

The match statistics underlined the one-sided nature of a contest which also saw James Wallace miss a gilt-edged opportunity just after the interval.

United mustered 15 shots, seven of which were on target, and enjoyed 59 per cent of the possession against Kevin Nugent’s side who returned figures of two, two and 41.

“When we came in at half-time, we knew we didn’t deserve to be 1-0 down,” Clough said. “And then they go out and perform like that in the second half.

“There’s a belief that, even at 1-0 down and especially here at home, we can get something out of the games and we’ll need that over the course of the next six months.

“The lovely thing is, while the last two home performances we’ve had haven’t yielded six points, they’re a template of how we want to play. In that second half, that’s exactly how we want to play, home and away if we can.”