CLOUGH’S TROOPS MUST BE PATIENT
NIGEL CLOUGH believes his Sheffield United players should have done more to confirm their place in the play-offs.
It had looked like United would seal a top-six finish with a 1-0 win after Jason Holt scored in the 57th minute.
But Billy Clarke levelled for the Bantams with six minutes to go, to leave the Blades needing one more point to be certain.
“It is frustrating to concede like that when we were six minutes away from confirming our play-off place,” said Clough.
“We needed to do more to get a second goal and I thought we were off the pace for ten to 15 minutes after we scored.
“It was a scruffy goal for us to concede, but we have a patched up back four at the moment.
“Bradford were hurting after midweek and, on another day, we would have seen the game out. Hopefully, Leyton Orient can do us a favour on Tuesday.
“If not, we will go to Orient and get a result on Saturday.”
City boss Phil Parkinson praised his players for bouncing back from their midweek thumping by champions Bristol City.
“It has been a tough week for us and we have restored pride today, which we needed to do,” said Parkinson.
“We created plenty of chances and had two cleared off the line. I have got to give the lads credit because they kept going, even when we went a goal down.
“You look for a response as a manager and I got that from every player.
“They kept the faith and the belief that we would get a draw. This is a hard place to come and the players showed plenty of character.”
Billy Knott flashed a curling effort just wide from a tight angle on two minutes as Bradford showed their early intent.
Jamie Murphy should have scored for United, but he could only blaze wide from close range after City had failed to clear John Brayford’s cutback on nine minutes.
Billy Clarke was then denied by a goalline clearance from Chris Basham on 16 minutes as the Bantams continued to look the more threatening.
Steven Davies turned well on the edge of the box before firing straight at Ben Williams on 35 minutes in the last action of a dull first half.
Davies thought he had put United ahead on 56 minutes when his downward header hit the post.
But United were ahead a minute later when Jason Holt fired home from six yards after a goalmouth scramble.
Brayford alertly headed Mark Yeates’ goalbound effort away on 80 minutes as Blades looked to hold on to a win that would confirm their play-off place.
But Bradford got an unlikely equaliser when Clarke rifled home his 12th of the season with six minutes left after Andrew Davies’ header fell invitingly for him.
Sheffield United will be guaranteed a playoff place if Rochdale fail to beat Leyton Orient on Tuesday night.
STAR MAN STEVEN DAVIES
United ld Sheffie OPENER: Jason Holt is mobbed after notching Sheffield United’s goal