Mansfield Town v Middlesbrough: Chris Wilder is braced for tough Clough test

CHRIS WILDER has personal experience of the cup prowess of Nigel Clough.

The Middlesbrough manager, in his capacity as a lifelong Sheffield United fan, was in the stands when Clough’s Blades – then in the third tier – embarked on runs to the semi-finals in both major domestic cup competitions in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

From his previous managerial jousts with Clough, whose in-form Stags side have won 10 of their last 11 games Wilder also knows what to expect.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Wilder, hopeful about bringing in one or two new additions before next weekend, said: “I’ve an awful amount of respect for Nigel.

Boro manager Chris Wilder.  Picture: Tony JohnsonBoro manager Chris Wilder.  Picture: Tony Johnson
Boro manager Chris Wilder. Picture: Tony Johnson

“In the early part of my managerial career, I was up against his Burton side in the Conference and I know what a great guy and a fabulous and principled football man he is.

“He has integrity and honesty and says it as it is and has managed at a really high level and been successful.

“He obviously managed at Sheffield United and I went on a couple of those good runs as a fan in the club reaching the FA Cup and League Cup semi-finals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He is well versed and he has history in turning over teams from a higher league. This is a tough game, regardless of whether we had a fully fit squad.”

Wilder admits he has written out his starting line-up about a dozen times ahead of today’s game, made extremely complicated by a raft of Covid issues.

Around seven or eight players who tested positive late last week – and would not have featured if last weekend’s game at Bramall Lane had taken place – will not be able to start today.

The situation is made all the more complicated by the fact that four additional players recorded positive tests at the start of this week, with Wilder having to be ‘inventive’ in his selection.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.