Nigel Clough wants Sheffield United to impose themselves on Rochdale when Keith Hill’s newly promoted side visits Bramall Lane next weekend, writes James Shield.
United, whose scheduled meeting with MK Dons tomorrow was postponed due to international call-ups, return to action in eight days time hoping to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to five matches.
Clough said: “We want the type of mindset where we focus on ourselves and not what others are doing. That, I think, is absolutely key.
“We give all our opponents, no matter who they are or where they are from, respect. But that doesn’t mean to say that we should get too caught-up in what they are trying to do instead of backing our own ability.”
“It’s that type of attitude which has served us well in the past,” Clough added. “The attitude whereby we are determined to create problems for others to try and solve rather than the other way around.”
Rochdale are eight places below United in the League One table but overwhelmed Crewe Alexandra in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy earlier this week. Hill, who has recently signed Brighton and Hove Albion striker Shamir Fenelon and Blackburn Rovers defender Jack O’Connell on loan, insisted it was “an absolute privilege” to name teenager Jamie Allen as captain at Gresty Road.
“He has been at the club since he was nine years old and he deserves it,” Hill said. “To do it at Crewe, in the lion’s den of developing football players, was just rewards.”