Sheffield United: Nigel vows not to meddle with tried and tested methods

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Nigel Clough last night revealed he has no plans to become known as the ‘tinkerman’ of Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.

Instead Clough, who takes charge of Sheffield United for the second time when they visit Shrewsbury Town this weekend, insisted his team will adopt the same tactical template at Greenhous Meadow which served them well against Crewe Alexandra five days ago.

“We have to back ourselves,” Clough said. “If we think that 4-4-2 is the right way to go then we should generally be playing that at home and away.

“Of course, there are always going to be exceptions. We saw that recently at Peterborough when the lads opted for five in midfield and it worked really well.

“But, generally, I like to go with two up front. I don’t think there’s any secret about that.”

Clough, who was appointed less than 24 hours after caretaker Chris Morgan helped United hold Darren Ferguson’s previously free-scoring side to a goalless draw, added: “Personally, I just prefer it if you’ve got two centre-forwards out there on the pitch. Providing everybody works hard, it means the opposition defence has got a little bit more to do.

“It’s important to try and turn teams at the start of games. Try to put them under as much pressure as you can.

“Start quickly. Get them on the back foot, especially when we’re at Bramall Lane because it’s a mutual thing between the players and the crowd.

“We want them behind us to make it as intimidating as possible. But, at the same time, we want to give them something to get behind.”

United climbed to 20th in the table, two places behind Town, courtesy of a deserved victory over Crewe. That result stretched their unbeaten run to three after dispatching Port Vale seven days earlier.

“The players have trained well this week,” Clough said. “They’ve shown good attitude and intensity but, immediately after the game [with Crewe] we challenged them by saying that must continue.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1