Nigel Clough hoping Sheffield United will take on Chesterfield Wembley

Sheffield United vs Chesterfield - Nigel Clough and Paul Cook- Pic By James Williamson
Sheffield United vs Chesterfield - Nigel Clough and Paul Cook- Pic By James Williamson

Nigel Clough hopes Sheffield United and Chesterfield are destined to meet again at Wembley during the League One play-off final on May 24.

The United manager revealed he had wished his opposite number Paul Cook “all the best” before yesterday’s final match of the season which finished all square after Ian Evatt had cancelled-out Marc McNulty’s opener for the hosts.

Clough, whose side will face Swindon Town in the semi-finals after securing fifth place, said: “Both our clubs want to reach the final so I told Paul, ‘lets meet down there in three weeks.’ It would be a difficult game, of course, but it would be a special game for this area.

“I am convinced we can beat Swindon over two legs but it won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination. We can’t take anything for granted.

“We did want to finish fifth. The way other results have gone, if we’d have lost then we’d have been facing Preston North End. To be fair, though, I don’t think you can pick and choose. I don’t think there’s a major difference.

“The big thing is we know who we have now. It is unusual going into a last day when you can get one of three teams. So, it is nice to be settled.”

Clough added: “I did think it would be Swindon. We didn’t want to lose, that’s for sure. But there isn’t a preference either way.

“With Preston, you probably know what you are getting a bit more. Swindon are a bit more unpredictable. But we have to be believe we can make the final.”

United stage the first leg of their semi-final on Thursday before travelling to the County Ground next week. Chesterfield, who finished sixth, are paired with Preston who failed to gain automatic promotion after being beaten by Colchester. That result allowed MK Dons to snatch second-place.

“We have a good idea of what the team will be come Thursday,” Clough said. “That is why we made a few changes, it was a deliberate tactic.

“Most were legitimate injuries. (Chris) Basham was out with his knee and (Paul) Coutts had a hamstring. They are not serious but we didn’t want either involved.

“The only one who was rested outright was Jamie Murphy. And if anything deserves a rest at this stage of the season then it’s him.”

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