POLL: Promotion is priority but Blades hold all competitions in high regard

SHEFFIELD United’s manager Nigel Clough believes the League Cup is enjoying something of a revival as his side target a place in the quarter-finals.

Sheffield United's manager Nigel Clough (Picture: Stephen Pond/PA Wire).
Sheffield United's manager Nigel Clough (Picture: Stephen Pond/PA Wire).

The Blades are Yorkshire’s sole representative left in the competition and travel to fellow League One outfit Milton Keynes Dons tonight.

Karl Robinson’s side pulled off the biggest upset of this season when thrashing Manchester United 4-0 in round two and Clough believes the Capital One Cup’s stock is continuing to rise on the back of such shocks.

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He said: “The League Cup is having something of a revival. There is always that European carrot at the end of it, as is the chance to play at Wembley.

“In some of our eyes, it doesn’t need a revival because the League Cup has always been important. But maybe the upsets we have seen have helped. MK Dons beating Manchester United was great for the competition, people want to see that in cups.

“There are only four opportunities to win something (in English football) and this is one of them. We want to go as far as we can. I have never quite understood how you can get two or three months into a season and focus on just one competition.”

Clough’s side reached the last four of the FA Cup last season, beating Fulham, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest en route to losing 5-3 at Wembley against Hull City.

United have already seen off West Ham United this term, but tonight will be the second consecutive round that they have drawn a team from the same division.

Clough, who has enquired about the availability of Blackpool’s Steven Davies, without success, in recent days, added: “It wasn’t the draw we wanted. I would imagine MK Dons feel the same. They will have been disappointed, though maybe a bit happier because they got a home draw.

“You want to avoid people in your own league in the cups and especially away from home.

“MK Dons are probably the form team in this season’s competition so it will be tough. We both want to get promoted, that has to be the priority. But a place in the last eight is at stake.

“There are some big teams left in the competition and that has to be our incentive. If we can get through, we can get a good draw.

“We play in four different competitions in our next four games. That means in two weeks, we could be out of three, and we don’t want that. We want to still be in them all because this club should be getting to the latter stages of cups.”