"We want to show more fight this time"
United boss Chris Wilder faces the team he supported as a boy as the U’s welcome Sheffield United in the FA Cup on Saturday. Chris fulfilled his dream by playing for the Blades but waved away any suggestion that sentiment comes into it at the Kassam Stadium come three o’clock.
“It’s a big game for the club” he told Yellow Player. “We just want to do better than we did last year against them. We just never turned up and it’s a massive regret in my career that we disappointed people. This time we are at home and we will put more of a fight up. Sheffield United have good players and are at the top of a higher league so the bookies will make them favourites and if they play well and we play well they should win. But it doesn’t work out like that. If they do win then they will have to come through us, round us, over us and they have got to be getting back on that coach thinking it was a real tough FA Cup tie.
“And on the other side, if they don’t hit the standards they can reach and we do then it has happened before that teams in our league have turned over teams in theirs. We are more than capable of that. There were no second strings played in a local derby against Swindon this season and we managed to nick a victory so it is possible for us but we will have to be bang at it”
United will be without the suspended James Constable plus midfielders Lee Cox and Jake Forster-Caskey who have now returned to their parent clubs after their loans ended.
“They did very well for us but we have made a decision on them and we thank them for their efforts” Chris said. “They have been tremendous and we wish them all the best in the future”.
Michael Raynes returns to the squad after illness ruled him out of the win over Cheltenham, and the Manager faces an interesting choice at centre-half where Michael Duberry did so well on his return from injury:
“Raynesy took a bit of stick from the lads for feeling sick on New Year’s Day! But he is fine now and was in a rich vein of form. I have an enormous amount of respect for Dubes. He headed everything and him and Jake were immense against Cheltenham and we deserved to win”.
It is the first time that United have reached this stage for a decade, and Chris hopes that the fans will spur his side on to even greater things:
“We are playing a big club and we don’t want it to end at 5 o’clock on Saturday. We have players who can raise their game, and we want more fight than last year. The backing from the fans on Tuesday was immense, especially in the last ten minutes when the fans sensed that we needed them and they gave us a push over the finishing line. It would be good to progress but we know it’s a tough ask and we will need the fans to be just as good on Saturday.
See the whole interview in Yellow Player, with the Preview Show coming soon
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