CLOUGH aware players need time to adapt to Championship.
Following Tuesday nights friendly which finished 1-1 against fellow Championship side Queens Park Rangers Clough said:
“I think it was a good run around at home tonight, I felt we were unlucky to go 1-0 down. It was a poor goal to concede but it was a lesson to the players that if you switch off for a second teams will punish you in the Championship.
"I think we noticed the step up in numerous different ways. The physicality of the players, their ability levels, their fitness and the tempo of the game. I was just speaking to Matty Palmer about the game and how they close you down quicker, they cut the angles off quicker, they’re stronger.
"It’ll take us a few weeks to get up to full speed in the league, until we play in the league we will know how to compete better as a whole. We have the lads that have come in, that bring much needed knowledge of the Championship and hopefully we can find a couple more.
"We know we will get there with the sharpness too, it can sometimes take till the international break to get fully up to speed because you could play 7 games in 20 days.
"However, we all know that in any friendly it doesn’t matter who you play, you can never create the full intensity of a Championship game in pre-season.”
Clough was also pleased with how his side coped with the physical challenge last night:
“The height/physical aspect in the team was pleasing, it was an area we looked at in the summer, something you need in the league to compete. You need a combination of height, strength and ability in the division. With the likes of Ben Turner, Kyle McFadzean, Jackson Irvine and Chris O’Grady we have more of that in the squad.”