Nigel Clough has revealed details of the message he will deliver to Sheffield United’s players moments before tomorrow’s FA Cup semi-final against Hull City, writes James Shield.
Clough, a member of the Nottingham Forest team beaten in the final by Tottenham Hotspur 23 years ago, last night warned his side they must finish the game “with no regrets” irrespective of the scoreline.
“What I will be saying to them is ‘You don’t get many opportunities, don’t waste it.’ If we give everything and it doesn’t happen on the day then so be it,” Clough, the United manager, said. “We will come off and that is that.
“What we don’t want is to come off that pitch thinking ‘We had a chance today and blew it’. That would be the worst feeling at Wembley.
“As much as losing a game there is bad, it is nothing compared to thinking ‘We should have won that.’
“I had it once in my career, against Spurs. I try not to have regrets but that is a regret for me.
“The fact I still feel like that now, all these years on, shows you have to seize every opportunity. The ones where you give everything but it wasn’t meant to be, you get over quicker.”
Despite acknowledging that United, of the third tier, face a huge challenge to overcome their Premier League opponents, Clough said: “I can’t put into words what getting to a final would mean. I hope you’re asking me at 6pm on Sunday.
“We are on the verge of history. We know we are in League One and under no illusions about that but this is not a normal League One club.
“We are not one of the minnows of English football. Maybe that clouds some people’s judgement on the tie.”