Clough - League remains our priority

Last Updated: Mon, 03 Feb 2014 21:40

Nigel Clough is adamant that League One remains the Blades' priority despite knowing his side could reach the last 16 of the FA Cup.

The Blades head to London searching for a second successive Barclays Premier League scalp, following the defeat of Aston Villa in the last round, after the original tie finished 1-1 just over a week ago.

A win would set-up a fifth-round tie with either Nottingham Forest or Preston but with his side entrenched in a relegation dogfight in League One, which was not helped by Saturday's woeful 3-0 loss at Crewe, Clough's primary concern is keeping his side in the third tier.

"A cup run would mean nothing unless we start winning in the league," he said.

"The last thing we want is to have a cup run and then struggle in the league and be in the relegation zone.

"Wigan did that last year, I have heard a few people say they wouldn't swap it, the cup is important but not as important as the league.

"I would prefer a win on Saturday against Shrewsbury than tomorrow."

Despite harbouring that attitude, Clough, who played in the 1991 FA Cup final for Nottingham Forest, is aware of the opportunity that his side have.

They have the struggling Premier League side in their sights having been the better team in their first meeting at Bramall Lane, Clough knows they have nothing to lose.

"It gives us an opportunity to get through to the last 16 and you don't get many opportunities to do that," he added.

"We can have a real go. It's similar to Villa Park, let's go and enjoy it and have a go.

"They are confirmed favourites, they don't play again until Sunday so it will be interesting to see how they line up. I think they will be much-changed from the one at Bramall Lane."

Clough, who has no fresh injury or suspension concerns, will not be able to call on the cup-tied pair Billy Paynter of Elliott Whitehouse.

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