Al­bion are told to keep mo­men­tum go­ing in FA Cup opener

Burton Mail - - Sport - By JOSHUA MUR­RAY joshua.mur­ray@reach­plc.com @JoshuaMur­rayBM

NIGEL Clough wants his Bur­ton Al­bion play­ers to build on the per­for­mances of re­cent games to kick­start their FA Cup cam­paign away to Scun­thorpe United to­day (3pm).

The Brew­ers turned in two of their best dis­plays of the cam­paign last week to knock Nottingham For­est out of the Carabao Cup and then cruise past Wal­sall in League One.

The high tempo and slick pass­ing on show was sym­bolic of the con­fi­dence cur­rently flow­ing through the Al­bion squad - al­though Clough is in­tent on en­sur­ing that does not go too far.

And hav­ing seen his side dogged by in­con­sis­tency so far this sea­son and un­able to string to­gether a long un­beaten run, the Bur­ton man­ager is urg­ing his play­ers to keep the stan­dards high at Glan­ford Park.

“I think you just have to keep that mo­men­tum go­ing, what­ever the com­pe­ti­tion,” he said.

“We wanted to do it against Mid­dles­brough in the Check­a­trade Tro­phy on Tues­day and it didn’t work out but, hope­fully, when the se­nior play­ers come back into the side at Scun­thorpe, they’ll con­tinue where they left off against For­est and Wal­sall, which have been two of our best per­for­mances of the sea­son so far.

“Where we are con­fi­dent at the mo­ment, we don’t want it to turn into complacency or over-con­fi­dence. We’ll be re­mind­ing the play­ers ex­actly how hard they’ve had to work and what they’re do­ing well to, hope­fully, put in an­other good per­for­mance.”

Al­bion are al­ready on one mem­o­rable cup run for the sea­son, hav­ing reached the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Carabao Cup for the first time.

That run has had an im­pact on the Brew­ers’ form in the League, with three wins and one draw from their four games im­me­di­ately af­ter cup matches.

For Clough, it is as sim­ple as want­ing his side to keep win­ning games, re­gard­less of the com­pe­ti­tion.

“Get­ting to the last eight of the Carabao Cup has been an out­stand­ing run,” he added.

“But the FA Cup, when the big boys come in the third round, that is one of the most ex­cit­ing times of the sea­son for sup­port­ers, when their team is in that draw.

“We’ve got to get through a cou­ple of rounds first. “Also, you just want to not lose foot­ball matches, like we did against Mid­dles­brough’s un­der-21s.

“Even when there’s noth­ing at stake, you don’t want to lose matches. “That’s the sort of thing you’re try­ing to in­stil in the play­ers. Whether it’s a re­serve game, whether it’s an eight-a-side in train­ing, don’t lose and don’t make it easy.

“You want to win every sin­gle time you go on the pitch and that’ll be the same at Scun­thorpe.”

There can be no doubt about Clough’s de­sire to see his side progress into the FA Cup sec­ond round, in spite of their con­gested fix­ture list over the com­ing weeks.

“We’ll take a re­play now,” he said. “Peo­ple say you don’t want re­plays but we’d take a re­play now and get them back here to the Pirelli.

“We want to stay in the com­pe­ti­tion. That’s the first thing - be in the hat, when the draw is made, that’s the first pri­or­ity, noth­ing else.”

Peo­ple say you don’t want re­plays but we’d take a re­play now and get them back here to the Pirelli

Nigel Clough

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.