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Gaffer's Swindon verdict

1 February 2015

Nigel Clough was understandably delighted with Saturday's 2-0 win over league leaders Swindon Town at Bramall Lane.


Despite making ten changes from the side that started Wednesday's Capital One Cup semi-final second-leg against Spurs, a second-half double from Jamie Murphy, who had earlier penned a new long-term contract, was enough to for United to defeat Mark Cooper's Robins.


On the victory and his decision to rotate his squad, Clough remarked: "The changes we made demonstrates the belief we have in the squad, we had three lads making their debuts too, but we just about deserved the win.


"Swindon created enough chances to have scored a goal or two on the day, but we made some great blocks and Iain Turner made some timely saves when called upon.


"The changes were purely the after affects of everything we put into the semi-final tie, not just physically, but emotionally too and we haven't worked much at all since then because of the weather.


"A few were enforced too, Flynny was always going to struggle with the quick turnaround, Mark Howard's back was sore and Bob Harris has had a family bereavement.


"We wanted to give the youngsters an opportunity and the only way they are going to improve is by playing against the likes of Swindon."


United's goalscoring hero had only been introduced just before the break, but his finishing drew praise from his boss, who was also pleased with Terry Kennedy's display at centre-half.


The Gaffer added: "We felt we had no choice but to bring Michael Higdon off because if not it was only a matter of time before he saw the red, there was nothing malicious, it was just an accumulation of fouls.


"Jamie Murphy's goals were both excellently taken, but he showed terrific desire on both occasions to finish them off, with Terry Kennedy, who was excellent, claiming an assist for the second.


"Terry was unfortunate to be booked so early on, but after that I don't think he committed a foul in a performance that displayed a real maturity."



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