Nigel Clough's verdict on Charlton final, why Sunderland impressed him so much at Portsmouth and Jon McLaughlin

Nigel Clough has hailed Sunderland's 'superb' professionalism in making it to the League One play-off final.

By Phil Smith
Friday, 24 May, 2019, 10:03
Nigel Clough has hailed Sunderland's professionalism in the League One semi final

Clough, who was born in Sunderland and retains a keen affection for the club where is father's goalscoring feats made him a legend, was asked for his thoughts on the clash with Charlton this Sunday.

The Burton Albion boss believes Charlton are in better form but hailed the Black Cats for their control at Fratton Park.

"There's Aston Villa v Derby County in the Championship final, being local-ish - but I think Sunderland v Charlton, two very big clubs in a League One play-off, that's going to be as interesting as any one.

"Charlton probably go into it in the better form, but I thought Sunderland's professionalism and the way they went about it over the two games was superb, especially going down to Portsmouth.

"They restricted Portsmouth to probably three or four chances over two games.

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"To restrict them to that few, I think a lot of credit goes to Sunderland for that. I thought they played very well and handled the whole situation down at Portsmouth extremely well."

Clough also praised Jon McLaughlin's 'calmness' and said the goalkeeper, who played for Burton for three seasons and won promotion from League One, would not be fazed by the atmosphere.

"Jon has done well," he said.

"I've got a friend who's a Sunderland fan who thinks he might get player of the year up there.

"He's a good, solid, competent goalkeeper. He is not fazed by the atmosphere, I think that's his calmness, which he always portrayed here just the same.

"He is a very calm, experienced goalkeeper."