NIGEL CLOUGH’S most famous FA Cup managerial memory may have given him a shudder at the time – but he would settle for more of the same come January.
Then manager of Burton Albion, Clough’s minnows had a daunting home assignment with Manchester United in the third round early in the New Year of 2006.
But against all odds, they secured a 0-0 draw, despite Clough having a sharp intake of breath when two ‘super-subs’ came on.
The replay may have seen the Brewers soundly beaten 5-0, but they claimed considerable compensation by way of a hefty pay cheque with both games televised and the replay attracting a crowd of just under 54,000.
Clough would dearly like the Blades to claim their own share of the cup limelight against another box-office name and secure the sort of high-profile tie that was common fare for Unitedites not so long back.
The incentive of some financial rewards to boost his transfer kitty is also an added factor.
Clough said: “Financially, it’s a major thing and we can get a few quid out of it if we get through (to the third round).
“That all helps with bringing players in – either in the January transfer window or at the end of the season.
“Fans love cups. When the team is struggling in the league as well, I think it lifts everybody if you have a good cup run.”
Recollecting his experiences against the Red Devils with Burton, he added: “The financial thing was huge as Burton had overspent on their stadium and the tie really set them up from there.
“For the players to play Man United was huge as well. People forget that at Burton after an hour, they brought on Rooney and Ronaldo. It was petrifying, especially after we saw those two coming on! But we’d like a tie like that here.”