Clough: Let’s shut their fans up if we can

Burton Mail - - Sport - By JOSHUA MUR­RAY joshua.mur­ray@reach­

NIGEL Clough wants Bur­ton Al­bion to silence Sun­der­land’s away sup­port early on in this week­end’s League One clash.

The Black Cats have sold out their away ticket al­lo­ca­tion and will be well fol­lowed for to­day’s game at the Pirelli Sta­dium (3pm), as they look to ex­tend their unbeaten start to the sea­son.

The Brew­ers, mean­while, are tar­get­ing three suc­ces­sive home League wins for the first time since De­cem­ber 2015.

Dur­ing their de­but Cham­pi­onship cam­paign in 2016-17, Al­bion be­came renowned for over­pow­er­ing “big­ger” clubs at the Pirelli, with Derby County, Sh­effield Wed­nes­day, Leeds United and Nor­wich City among their scalps.

And Clough be­lieves re­cap­tur­ing that qual­ity of the Bur­ton game could be cru­cial against Sun­der­land.

“I think that’s what we did es­pe­cially well in our first sea­son in the Cham­pi­onship,” he said when asked about qui­eten­ing the Black Cats sup­port down.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of teams that came sold out their al­lo­ca­tion and started very buoy­ant and ev­ery­thing.

“Then we wore them down and, all of a sud­den, the away end got quiet. I think it’ll be im­por­tant to do that on Satur­day if we can.” Af­ter a frus­trat­ing sea­son on home soil in 2017-18, the Brew­ers have be­gun the new cam­paign in a pos­i­tive fash­ion at the Pirelli, with two wins from three in the League and a mem­o­rable Carabao Cup vic­tory over As­ton Villa. Clough says that up­turn on the pitch has been mir­rored by the at­mos­phere in the stands. “I think our sup­port­ers have been bril­liant the last few weeks and re­ally got be­hind us,” he said.

“You think from the Villa game and then the three great goals against AFC Wim­ble­don and even in the Check­a­trade Tro­phy – there weren’t too many here but they ap­pre­ci­ated the stan­dard of the game in the com­pe­ti­tion. Nigel Clough

“We had bril­liant sup­port Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley as well.

“The sup­port­ers aren’t daft, they recog­nise if the team’s play­ing well or not.

“And, hope­fully, they will no­tice quite a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence be­tween last sea­son and this sea­son in the way we’re play­ing.”

Fur­ther to that, the manager ac­knowl­edges that his side have a way to go to be­come the fin­ished ar­ti­cle – but he has been en­cour­aged by re­cent per­for­mances.

“We’re cer­tainly not there and the fin­ished ar­ti­cle yet and will not be un­til we get everybody avail­able,” he said.

“Usu­ally, you have your squad to­gether pre-sea­son and you can work on stuff.

“We didn’t have that lux­ury at all, we could hardly raise a team in pre­sea­son at times, let alone the first few weeks of the sea­son.

“So we’re go­ing to be play­ing a lit­tle bit of catch-up.

“But there’s the en­cour­age­ment of the last four games and even Brad­ford City be­fore that.

“We’ve talked about glimpses in games, I think it’s more than glimpses now.

“We’re hav­ing sus­tained pe­ri­ods in matches where we’re play­ing well.” at

Cel­e­bra­tions for Liam Boyce’s goal against Don­caster Rovers which be­gan a brighter run at home for Bur­ton Al­bion which they will hope to con­tinue to­day.

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