Clough delight as season’s best beats Magpies

Sheffield United manager  Nigel Clough
Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough
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NIGEL Clough labelled Sheffield United’s 2-1 victory at Notts County on Tuesday night as one of the club’s finest results of the campaign so far.

The manager was elated as the South Yorkshire side strengthened their hold on a League One play-off place.

Matt Done scored the 75th-minute winner, his fourth goal in three games since joining from Rochdale, as they battled against opponents who are still in danger of the relegation zone.

United had won 3-1 at leaders Bristol City on Saturday but Clough insisted: “It’s as good a three points as we’ve had all season. It was totally different to Bristol City but we knew that would be the case and it was a battle at times.

“Notts County fight and scrap for everything and that typifies a Shaun Derry side. But give them credit, they can play a bit too.

“The goal we conceded after going one up was unfortunate to say the least – there wasn’t a great deal we could do to stop that one happening – but I thought we were excellent in the first-half.

“What we have to do now when we are in control like we were, is go on and get a second.

“If not they can equalise courtesy of a solitary attack.”

Clough, whose side look for a fourth successive win when they host Coventry City on Saturday, added: “Jamie Murphy is proven to be very effective down the left, so we moved him out there and that allowed Jason Holt to get forward and support Matty Done.

“It is the same old adage; get the ball to Jamie and he will do some damage. His goal was almost a flashback to his strike at Doncaster; it wasn’t quite as good but it had to be special to beat Roy Carroll from there.”

Clough noted the impact of his own goalkeeper, too, as Iain Turner once more showed his class while deputising for the injured Mark Howard.

“His save just after half-time – one of his only pieces of action on the night – proved to be very decisive,” said the manager.

“He said he only made one save – but what a save? If they had gone 2-1 up it could have been a very different outcome.”

Clough admitted Done, 26, has eased the club’s profligacy since arriving at Bramall Lane.

“The winning goal is so pleasing again as we get to the byline and score from close range,” he explained.

“Matt Done has done that three times in two matches and when you think of how many balls were going into the box earlier in the season it shows the importance of having someone who can get on the end of them.”