sport

Clough surprised by turnaround

Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough said his side's complete transformation this season had not been expected.

The Blades won only one of their first 11 league games and slipped to second-bottom in the table following a 3-0 defeat at Crewe in February.

But a thrilling run all the way to the semi-finals of the FA Cup at Wembley went hand-in-hand with a 10-game winning sequence that catapulted Clough's side up the table.

"I've said for a number of weeks we want to finish as high as possible and given the start of the season we can be very proud to have ended the season in seventh spot," said Clough after Saturday's win against Coventry lifted them to within seven points of the play-offs.

"Our run has surprised a lot of people, especially given where we were after the defeat at Crewe and nobody could have seen a 10-game winning run coming just around the corner, but the belief within the squad has been fantastic.

"The players we have brought in to supplement the squad have been tremendous and they deserve a lot of credit.

"But the lads that have been here all season have also lifted their performances consistently since the turn of the year."