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Gaffer's first-leg verdict

22 January 2015

Nigel Clough says he is pleased the Blades remain very much in the hunt for a place in the Capital One Cup final, but 'disappointed' to be entering the second-leg with a deficit after a 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.

An Andros Townsend penalty is all that separates the two sides ahead of next week's clash at Bramall Lane as United more than matched their top flight opponents for over 70 minutes in North London.

Clough felt the loss was harsh on his side and was left ruing an error of judgement by the otherwise impressive Jay McEveley, who gave away the penalty by handling in the box.

The Gaffer remarked: "We are satisfied in many ways, especially with the spirit and organisation we showed against a very good Tottenham side, but disappointed we go into the second-leg with a one goal deficit.

"I thought we were on for a 0-0 or possibly nicking a goal ourselves on the break, but it just wasn't to be.

"It was such a soft goal to give away too. If a team like Tottenham carve you open and stick one in the back of the net then fair enough.

"Jay hasn't meant to handle the ball, but we can't believe his hand is up there. He has appealed for offside and that put him off balance.

"But Jay hasn't made many mistakes at all throughout his time with us and apart from the penalty incident he was immaculate again."

The Blades boss was encouraged by what he saw from his players on the whole and was impressed with our strongly United finished the game, despite that elusive away goal evading them.

Clough added: "We were disciplined and everyone knew their jobs, the first-half was very good. We were positive from the start and caused them a few problems, we didn't want to sit back, but we did for a 15-20 minute spell in the second-half and that invited them on.

"We had to defend well, but we also needed to be positive in possession and towards the end it was us finishing the strongest which was pleasing."

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