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Manager's respect for counterpart

12 April 2014

Nigel Clough has paid tribute to the job Steve Bruce has done at FA Cup semi-final opponents Hull City.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's last four clash at Wembley, the Blades boss reminisced about the battles he 'enjoyed' with the City boss during their playing days, before focusing on Bruce's achievements with the Tigers.

Clough remarked: "We have watched Hull a few times, but obviously they will be without two quality strikers in Long and Jelavic, who are cup-tied.

"Steve (Bruce) changes his formation at times, like we do, so we'll all be second guessing each other in the next day or two.

"I know Steve well from our playing days. Talking as a centre-forward against a centre-back he got too close for my liking.

"Steve has gone on to have a very good career in management after a tremendous playing career and he has been unlucky in a couple of jobs too.

"He is settled at the KC Stadium and looks to have secured Hull another season in the top-flight after winning promotion from the Championship last season."

Commenting on the Blades chances of progressing to the final, Clough was keen to remain realistic, emphasising the fact that United will kick-off as underdogs.

The Gaffer concluded: "Let's be honest, our chances are slim and that is because we are playing a team that is two divisions higher than us.

"They have Premier League quality and I don't think anyone would argue that we are massive underdogs.

"Because of our results in the competition to date, some people are probably giving us more chance than we realistically have."

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