Nigel Clough hopes Sheffield United’s exploits in this season’s FA Cup can inspire his players when their battle for League One survival resumes at Gillingham tomorrow, writes James Shield.
Clough revealed he had spoken at length with United’s squad during the aftermath of Sunday’s dramatic victory over Nottingham Forest which saw them reach the competition’s quarter-final stage.
The United manager, whose side will face arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday in the last eight if Stuart Gray’s side overcome Charlton Athletic next week, revealed the details of that conversation as his team prepare for their visit to Priestfield Stadium.
“It was an incredible atmosphere against Forest,” Clough said. “Those are the type of games that you want to play in, that you want to be a part of and remember for a very long time.
“There were 25,000 people inside our ground and the place was electric. If we can get a successful team then we could be having that most weeks.
“”But we won’t be getting that if we are in League Two because we haven’t got out of the bottom four.”
United remained 22nd in the table - two points from safety - after missing last weekend’s round of league games. Gillingham, who have signed Crystal Palace defender Ryan Inniss on loan, are 11th.
Clough, reflecting on a remarkable sequence of results which has seen United also beat Colchester, Cambridge, Aston Villa and Fulham en route to their potential meeting with Wednesday, said: “In terms of wins, that one (against Forest) wasn’t as big as the won over Shrewsbury Town a week earlier because those were three very important points.
“The most important thing is our next three league games. Those are the focus and we’ll forget all about the FA Cup.”