Clough takes some responsibility as Burton bow out of FA Cup

Clough takes some responsibility as Burton bow out of FA Cup

The Brewers boss watched his side suffer a 2-0 loss but he insists he was pleased with the performance despite a sloppy opening 20 minutes.

Matty Roper

Burton Albion’s FA Cup campaign was brought to an abrupt end at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon as goals from Christan Kabasele and Jerome Sinclair booked Watford a place in the fourth round. In a game of few chances, Nigel Clough handed a debut to new signing Luke Varney and he impressed before being forced to leave the field on a stretcher following an aerial collision.

Clough praises Watford after Varney concern

Speaking to the media after the game with regards to the striker’s injury, Clough said, “He was conscious, he just couldn’t get his breath. Sometimes when you get a whack in the ribs it can have that affect. He had the oxygen on and everything, they’ve been brilliant Watford looking after him so he will get checked out."

Commenting on the length of time that Varney will be side-lined, Clough added: “When they do crack (ribs), if that’s what it is, it’s a bit difficult to tell how long because it’s extremely uncomfortable.”

Despite the defeat, the manager was pleased with the application of his players, but he admitted he perhaps shouldn’t have opted for a three-man defence. He told the club website, “I take responsibility for the first 20 minutes but once we changed it round to a back four I thought we looked a lot better so I probably got it wrong with the starting formation.”

Burton hard done by?

Clough also felt there was an element of rough justice as he believed his side should have been awarded a free kick in the build-up to the Hornets’ crucial second goal after a “blatant foul”.

First of all we should have cleared the ball then he (Marcus Harness) has been done on the edge of the box but that’s what you get with young players unfortunately,” he added. “They are going to make mistakes but unless you put them out there they are not going to learn.”

The Brewers face Wigan Athletic at the Pirelli Stadium next weekend and the impetus now switches to that fixture as Clough’s men aim to secure a positive result that would assist with their SkyBet Championship survival bid.