Leyton Orient v Sheff Utd: Clough keen for Blades to strike first

SHEFFIELD UNITED’S seasonal fate will not be decided at the Matchroom Stadium this afternoon, but it is the last-chance saloon for Leyton Orient.

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough (Picture: Simon Cooper/PA Wire).

With two games left, Nigel Clough’s side need one more point to be sure of play-off participation, although if Rochdale lose or draw to MK Dons today, the Blades’ berth will be booked, regardless of the result against Orient.

For the O’s, two points from safety with two games left, the fixture is a must win, with Clough believing that the Blades will significantly deflate the home support if they draw first blood today.

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He said: “It is almost the last throw of the dice for them.

“They need to get a result to stand a chance of staying up. We are fully aware of their needs as well.

“You’d have thought they needed a win. The first goal is going to be important. It is in the majority of games; more so on Saturday.

“If they get it, it will give them confidence, and if we get it, it will settle us down nicely.

“They have actually picked up at home and scored a few goals in the last six and won two, lost two and drawn two, so it’s an improvement on the form earlier on in the season.

“Although they took a battering at MK Dons last week, they can do that to anybody at home and they battled at Rochdale.”

Clough is likely to adopt a pragmatic stance regarding selection with the likes of Matty Done, Terry Kennedy and Ryan Flynn struggling.