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Getting the basics right

21 November 2013

Nigel Clough says the Blades must get the basics right in order to climb out of the League One relegation zone.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Clough remarked: "The fact we haven't kept a clean sheet at home this season is a major concern, we need to defend better both individually and collectively.

"To have only kept two clean sheets all season (at Scunthorpe and Peterborough) means we are giving away too many goals, a lot of them have been avoidable too.

"The longer you keep your clean sheet in tact the better chance you have of winning the game, it is that simple. One goal should have been enough to beat Gillingham.

"We need a good blend of youth and experience in our current situation. We need legs across the park at times, whilst if we have an experienced spine of the team we should hopefully continue to control games.

When questioned about his decision to partner Chris Porter with Shaun Miller of late, the manager said:

"Chris (Porter) like all the players started with a clean slate and has scored on each of his two starts to date, so he will be judged from now on, not what has happened in the past.

"Chris and Shaun (Miller) have a good understanding and are potentially a very good partnership. Shaun is still a bit short on match fitness and we saw that against Gillingham last week, so he might need a brief rest at some point.

"We don't want to overcomplicate anything at the moment, we want to play 4-4-2 and get the basics right, Chris and Shaun are quite a traditional partnership I suppose.

"I watched Bradford play Coventry recently and I believe James (Hanson) and Nahki (Wells) are a similar partnership and as good as anything in this division."

On the future of loanee Harry Bunn, Clough concluded: "Harry (Bunn) has done well for the U21s but there are a lot of players ahead of him and that is why we need to thin the squad out in time."

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