Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, has vowed his team will enter today’s match against Bristol City full of attacking intent despite labelling it a “don’t lose” game, writes James Shield.
Steve Cotterill’s side arrive at Bramall Lane level on points with United in the League One table but a place higher by virtue of their superior goal difference.
With both clubs entering the contest knowing that defeat could see them drop back into the relegation zone, Clough said: “We always go for the full three points at home as, I think, anyone who has watched us play will testify to.
“But the bottom line is ‘don’t lose’ and I’m sure, if you asked Steve, he’d say exactly the same thing. We are out of the bottom four now and the message to the lads is that we don’t want to drop back in.”
Seventeenth placed City could call upon Stephen Pearson’s services against a United team likely to hand new signing Ben Davies his home debut after arriving on loan from Derby County last week. Pearson, the former Scotland midfielder, has not featured since April due to an ankle problem.
Clough, whose players recorded their fourth consecutive victory in all competitions at Gillingham three days ago, confirmed defender John Brayford has resumed training after missing the visit to Kent but revealed Chris Porter (ankle) and Stephen McGinn (back) are receiving treatment for knocks.
“John joined in with the rest of the lads (on Friday),” Clough said. “So we’ll see.”