Clough: Blades running on empty

Nigel Clough said Sheffield United are "running on empty now" after their recent FA Cup exploits and climb up the League One table.

The Blades have taken four points from two league games following their extraordinary 5-3 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Hull at Wembley and have risen to eighth in the table having been second from bottom after defeat at Crewe on February 1.

"We still want to finish the season strongly with an eye on next season and we believe finishing just outside the top six will be a great achievement," Clough told the club's official website.

"When you come from second from bottom to mid table in the space of three months, coupled with our cup run, it is inevitable that we were going to be running on empty now."

Clough, whose side face trips to Port Vale, on Friday, and Oldham before a last-day home game against Coventry, added: "We need to have a good summer break, then get the players back in and focused on pre-season, that will be crucial to our chances next season."