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Last eight spot deserved, says Clough

29 October 2014

Nigel Clough was understandably delighted after two late goals from substitute Michael Higdon saw United progress into the last eight of the Capital One Cup with a 2-1 victory at MK Dons.

Benik Afobe gave the Dons the lead from the penalty spot just after the hour mark, after Craig Alcock fouled Dele Alli in the box, but Higdon netted twice in the last ten minutes, with the winner coming in the third minute of stoppage-time, to secure the Blades a quarter-final berth.

Speaking in the aftermath of the victory, an ecstatic Clough remarked: "I thought overall we deserved it, our start to the second-half was good after a first-half which had very little in it.

"It was a rash challenge from Craig Alock for the penalty which gave them the lead, but our response was positive and we worked hard for our two goals.

"It can be difficult early on in cup ties against your league rivals because nobody wants to give anything away.

"We both knew each others strengths, but in the second-half we were excellent, we played with tempo and took the game to MK Dons.

"We deserved a goal in the first 15 minutes of the second-half, but the spirit within this group is there for all to see, we are never beaten and we seem to get stronger if we fall behind.

"We had no complaints over the penalty, apart from the rash tackle from Craig, who was very good apart from that.

"If you are to keep clean sheets you don't go making those types of tackles, but we'll learn from experience."

Of United's matchwinner, Clough heaped praise on his striker, adding: "Michael Higdon got the winning goal in the last round at Orient and his goals have got us through to the quarter-finals now, so we can't ask for much more from him.

"He has been an excellent option to have from the bench since returning from suspension and he said after the game he felt he should have scored just before the peanalty.

"It is imperative that the main striker brings our midfield runners into play, regardless of who it is that plays, but overall it was a pleasing team performance and another late comeback."

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