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League One

Nigel Clough lauds 'incredible' Sheffield United

13 March 2014

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough heaped praise on the effort put in by his players as they overcame fatigue to beat Carlisle United 1-0 thanks to a first-half goal from Jose Baxter.

The goal came in the 28th minute when Conor Coady's driven pass found Baxter in the area and he composed himself before despatching a low shot just inside Pickford's left-hand post.

Carlisle goalkeeper Jordan Pickford came to his side's rescue on several occasions as the hosts pressed before the break.

The visitors' best spell came in the latter stages of the game as the home side tired with David Amoo's header cleared off the goalline by Ben Davies.

Brad Potts and David Symington also had efforts deflected wide.

The Blades, who secured their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at the weekend, held on to secure their 10th straight win, which has included nine clean sheets.

Clough said: "It was an unbelievable effort again.

"I'm running out of superlatives, really, to describe the effort that is going in.

"In the first half, as well, we played some good stuff.

"The second half was all down to character and sheer determination to keep a clean sheet because we were on our knees at times in the second half and Carlisle caused us problems.

"It's an unbelievable run of 10 victories with nine clean sheets. It's an incredible statistic.

"To go from second bottom to where we are now and in the semi-finals of the FA Cup is unbelievable.

"A lot of the season has been a struggle so it's remarkable to see where we are now.

"The season has turned around in five or six weeks.

"It's important how the squad is because Terry Kennedy helped us keep a clean sheet against Peterborough last week and the person who started it all off was Shaun Miller, who scored in the 120th minute at Fulham. That's how important the squad is."

Carlisle boss Graham Kavanagh praised his players, despite the result.

He said: "I'm very, very proud of the players. I thought they gave their absolute all and caused a very good Sheffield United team a great deal of problems.

"We know they were pleased to hear the final whistle because I think we were the team looking likely to score, but it wasn't to be.

"Maybe there was a lack of experience in the key areas, but I can't fault the players

"I'm never happy to lose games but there are ways to lose them.

"We were very much together and showed a great deal of commitment and work-rate for each other.

"When a club like ourselves are missing three or four senior players who would play, it's always going to have an impact on results."

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