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League One

Win was all that mattered - Nigel Clough

19 April 2014

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough admitted that the result was far more important than the performance after his side's 1-0 home win against Stevenage.

The victory came courtesy of John Mousinho's 10th-minute own goal as he attempted to cut out Jamie Murphy's low, driven cross.

Stevenage threatened to equalise on a couple of occasions around the hour-mark.

John Brayford's slip inside the penalty area let in Luke Freeman, whose shot was well saved by Blades goalkeeper Mark Howard and from the resulting corner, Luke Jones' header was cleared off the goal-line by Jose Baxter.

Clough said: "It was hard work and we struggled at times. Any manager will tell you at this stage of the season that it's just about the three points.

"We ground it out and it was a very good goal we scored, despite it being an own goal. The build up was excellent.

"Some of the passing and the movement in the first half was good.

"It was a bit of a risk, putting the same team out as Sunday. We were a bit physically and mentally tired, but I think the best way to deal with that is to get back out there.

"The emotion that went into the game at Wembley was immense.

"If we'd have come out of the game with a win, it would have been a different frame of mind, but we lost a semi-final and it takes its toll mentally.

"You've got to give Stevenage credit as well because they're fighting for their lives and battling for absolutely everything.

"We had to defend very, very well.

"There's a glimmer of hope for that sixth spot, with four games to go.

"If you'd told us on February 1, when we were second from bottom, that we might have still have an outside chance with four games to go, we'd have thought you were mad."

Stevenage boss Graham Westley felt his side deserved to take something from the game.

He said: "In the second half I thought we got on top of the game and took the game to them.

"You probably won't see too many more dominant performances in terms of possession and territory.

"We had some good moments and on a different occasion that could very easily have been a Stevenage win.

"Certainly a point was I thought the least we deserved.

"The performance on the whole was strong and organised with enough structure and forward play to feel as though we were going to get something from the game.

"I think you deal with the facts as they hit you and it's unlikely that a team on 46 points is not going to get enough points to finish above what we total. But let's address that when and if it happens.

"Let's just concentrate on winning the game on Monday. We have to make sure that we play that game with the spirit, togetherness and appetite that we showed in the second half here."


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