Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough hailed his side’s 1-0 Capital One Cup quarter-final victory over Southampton as “remarkable”.
The League One Blades claimed a second Premier League scalp of the season as Marc McNulty’s second-half goal was enough to see off a hapless Saints and ensure a second semi-final appearance in a major cup competition in two seasons after they reached the last four of the FA Cup last season.
Their victory over Ronald Koeman’s men was thoroughly deserved and their winning margin and Southampton’s humiliation would have been far greater had goalkeeper Fraser Forster not made a string of fine saves.
Clough, who has overseen victories over Aston Villa, Fulham, West Ham and now Southampton in the last 12 months, was especially delighted as his side featured an 18-year-old Louis Reed and recent recruits from Ilkeston, Che Adams and Kieran Wallace, who both came on as substitutes.
Clough said: “That’s the only slightly disappointing thing, we would have settled for a 1-0 I think, but we probably should have had a second goal tonight.
“It was a remarkable effort by the players.
“The 14 lads we had out there gave absolutely everything.
“When you consider we had a couple of lads from Ilkeston Town out there, an 18-year-old, a right winger playing at right-back, that all comes into it and that makes it a remarkable result.
“It makes nights like this very special for supporters and the atmosphere they make, not many clubs will want to come here and play a cup tie.
“We thought we created the better chances and played well. In the last half an hour we controlled it.
“The players love playing teams from higher leagues, I think they relish it, I don’t think it daunts them and we do look forward to these type of evenings.
“I just tell them they are a League One side against a Premier League side get out there and give it a go.”