Clarke cool as a cucumber

Huddersfield skipper Peter Clarke said he found their dramatic penalty shootout win over Sheffield United on Saturday quite surreal.

Last Updated: 29/05/12 at 14:23

Clarke: Skipper put in big performance

Clarke: Skipper put in big performance

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It needed 22 penalties to separate the two sides before Blades goalkeeper Steve Simonsen missed the decisive spot kick, while Clarke capped an impressive all-round display to coolly dispatch his penalty at Wembley.

Clarke said: "To be honest with you I wasn't too nervous. It was just a little bit surreal at times, but thankfully we were on the right side of it.

"Sometimes these things go your way, sometimes they go against you. You've got to feel for Sheffield United, but we tasted defeat in the final last year. Maybe it was just our turn."

The former Everton, Blackpool and Southend centre-half turned in a real captain's performance, twice going closest to breaking the deadlock with second-half headers while proving a colossus at the back with several last-ditch tackles.

Clarke added: "Maybe so. It was a good afternoon and good for me personally, but that wouldn't have mattered one little bit if we hadn't won the tie."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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