Clough: Blades fans can lift us

  • Last Updated: April 12 2014, 14:48 BST

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough will use stories of Hull fans taking victory in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley for granted to fire up his players ahead of kick-off.

Clough: Heard stories about the Hull fans
Clough: Heard stories about the Hull fans

Both clubs were allocated 32,000 tickets and while Sheffield United quickly sold out, 5,000 Hull tickets remained unsold, amid suggestions Tigers fans are saving their money for the final itself on May 17.

"We've heard a few stories that the Hull supporters are saving themselves for the final," said Clough.

"Whether that's true or not, we're not sure, but our fans certainly aren't and if we do get there we'll sell out as quickly as we did for the semi-final.

"The supporters are desperate for a bit of success and to see their team on the pitch at Wembley.

"I don't think that will be the thoughts of Steve (Bruce) and those in the dressing room, but I'm sure outside of that there will be one or two supporters thinking that.

"The cost of the whole day and getting down there, it's going to be £100 for the day I would have thought with the ticket and the travel, so you can probably understand it.

"But it might be a risk. Any little thing we can use like that, we'll use because we need everything on our side we can get come Sunday."

Clough's side will become the first from outside the top two divisions to reach the FA Cup final in over a century if they can add Hull to a long list of prized scalps they have already taken in a memorable cup run.

Following early-round wins at Colchester and Cambridge, the Blades have upset Aston Villa, Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Charlton.

The Blades have met with crushing disappointment in FA Cup semi-finals down the years - they have lost their last four - and suffered League One play-off final heartache at Wembley two years ago when losing 8-7 in a nerve-jangling penalty shoot-out against Huddersfield.

"We've been made aware of that record and we are totally disregarding it," said Clough, a beaten FA Cup finalist at Wembley as a player in 1991 when Nottingham Forest were edged out by Tottenham.

"I don't think it will have too much bearing come Sunday and 10 minutes past four.

"What the club have done in the past - they haven't been to too many semi-finals either - they've had disappointment in play-off finals.

"But it's a different feeling for the FA Cup semi-final. I think when you go to a play-off final and you've played 48 matches to get there, your whole season depends on that one game.

"But we're going down there to enjoy it and irrespective of the result, we've still had a brilliant second half of the season and we've had a great cup run.

"That won't change whatever happens on Sunday."

The Blades sank to second-bottom of Sky Bet League One following a 3-0 defeat at Crewe shortly after Clough had replaced David Weir as boss in October.

But the former Derby manager has overseen a remarkable turnaround, steering his side to within eight points of the play-off places, while FA Cup wins over Forest and Charlton were registered during a recent nine-game winning run.

"I think playing a Premier League team makes us big underdogs," Clough added. "But somebody told me we have more players who have played at Wembley than they have.

"Without doubt there's more pressure on Hull. They're expected to be in the final on May 17.

"It's brilliant to be in the semi-final and it would be an incredible achievement if we can get to the final.

"We can go down and relax to a certain degree, but without this silly 'we're going for a nice day out' nonsense - we're still going to try and win the game."


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