Clough excited about Fox hunt after Burton banish Bournemouth
Burton boss Nigel Clough is relishing the prospect of a Carabao Cup last-16 tie against Leicester after coming within two minutes of facing a third-round replay with Bournemouth.
Goals from Oliver Sarkic and Nathan Broadhead resulted in last season’s semi-finalists causing a stunning upset in dispatching Eddie Howe’s in-form Premier League side.
But three second-half floodlight failures at the Pirelli Stadium, caused by issues within the local area and not with the ground’s own system, resulted in 28 minutes of delays.
Referee John Busby even called a halt to proceedings after the third failure, only to be told by the Football League a match can only be called off if there is a total delay of at least 30 minutes.
Clough said: “I’ve never experienced anything like that, not going ‘on off, on off’ for floodlight failures. But it was a problem no one could control.
“I’m just delighted to get the game finished, and Bournemouth were desperate to get it on as well. They didn’t want to come back in a couple of weeks’ time.
“But initially we got conflicting messages. It was the Football League who said you have to give it 30 minutes in total for outages.
“No matter how many times you stop, if it’s not 30 minutes… and we were still within that, and that’s why we went back out that final time.”
Like the lights, Bournemouth’s display lacked energy, even with boss Eddie Howe making 10 changes to his side from the one who defeated south-coast rivals Southampton 3-1 at St Mary’s on Friday night.
“What happened was a new one for me but we’re not using it as an excuse for the performance we put in, which was well short of where we can be and where we know we should be, and we’re very disappointed,” said Howe.
“It was a strange situation, I’ve never been involved in anything like that before, but all credit to Burton because they deserved to win.
“It’s an opportunity missed, though. We’re kicking ourselves tonight because we know we’re a lot better than that. The team was full of talented players but it didn’t really show in the match.”
The reward for the Brewers is another home tie against a Foxes side who dismantled Luton 4-0 at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night.
Clough, whose side beat Aston Villa, Burnley, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough en route to the semi-finals last year before losing 10-0 on aggregate to Manchester City, added: “It’s lovely to get through, and nice to be home, a local game as well, so we’ll look forward to it.
“It will be a tough test, though, because of the quality of the squad they have, and when you see a team go to a Championship side and win 4-0, then it’s a little bit of a concern.”