Monday, 31 December 2012

Blades vs Doncaster Preview

The Blades will go into the game looking for a better performance than the one with Hartlepool. Doncaster are in tip top form and will be looking forward to this clash and can go above the Blades if they win. United who are 2nd joint points with them. Last time out the Blades and Doncaster played out a stalemate with no team finding the net over 90 minutes, the Blades were the better team though out the game at the Lane. In the last 5 encounters the Blades lost 2-0 with goals from Coppinger and Billy Sharp. In the last 3 season's the Blades have scored 6 goals to Doncaster's 4 goals against eachother in the last few years.

Team News:

Doncaster will be without striker Chris Wood and midfielder Martin Woods. Manager Dean Saunders is expected to name an unchanged team with former Blade David Cotterill is in prolific form with 9 goals so far this season.

Danny Wilson will be without Harry Maguire after he picked up his 5th yellow card against Hartlepool on Saturday and will serve a 1 game ban. Tony McMahon is back after his suspension Collins and Miller are still out with Jean Francois. Keeper Mark Howard is back in training and Richard Cresswell is expected to partner Dave Kitson up front.

 Danny Wilson:  promises to be a fascinating clash with Doncaster having the incentive of going above us with a win.

"But there is no bigger incentive for us than returning to winning ways and we have looked solid away from home all season, so we believe we are more than capable of getting a result."

Some pundits have labelled Rovers a surprise package this term, but the Gaffer doesn't share those sentiments.

He concluded: "I am not surprised at all to see Doncaster right amongst things at the top with the experience they managed to recruit in the summer.

"They have got a fairly robust squad with an excellent blend of youth and experience and at the start of the season we highlighted them as potential challengers.

"We have seen in recent weeks they are capable of defending very well, as they did at Bramall Lane earlier in the season, but also at the other end of the pitch they have potential matchwinners, but saying that so do
Dean Saunders :
“Everybody wants to watch it – It’s New Year’s Day, people will be off work so hopefully there’s a big crowd.

“We had a lot of fans here today (at Preston) so that was great, so they’ll be there. Hopefully they’ll be people coming to the game who haven’t been before and they keep coming in the future.”

Sheffield United travel to The Keepmoat on the back of a shock defeat at the hands of bottom club Hartlepool United, only their third defeat of the season, but Saunders still anticipates a tough test.

“Well, until today they’ve been hard to beat. They’re solid and they don’t let many goals in.

“I expect Sheffield United to bounce back - You saw how our players reacted to the Coventry game – We just have to make sure we’re solid and don’t give them anything”

The win at Preston meant that Rovers are now level on points with the visitors and Dean believes his team are in the right shape to take on The Blades.

“We’re bang on form, we’ve lost one in the last seven or eight and I think we’ve won 6 of them and the team keeps improving”

United’s defeat to Hartlepool shows how tight the league can be and the former Blade says that despite how tight the league is, any team can make a push for promotion if they find consistency.

“We’ve just got to keep banging the results out; I don’t really look at everyone else.

“If you win three games on the trot you travel up the league no matter what league you’re in whether you’re at the bottom or the top, it makes a massive difference to your points. 

“We’ve just won two on the trot. Let’s see if we can make it three.”

Sheffield United are a team the Rovers manager feels are a major threat in League One and believes now is the best time to play them.

“They’re the biggest club in the league a mile and hopefully we can get them before they sign any new players. Some might arrive in the morning, but I hope not”

The game has a bit of extra spice to it for Saunders, having played for the visitors but says that any memories he has of his time there goes out of the window on Tuesday.

“I played for Sheffield United - it’s a great club and I enjoyed it there, we had a good team and it was a good time

“Danny Wilson, the manager, I played with when I was young so it’s got a bit of an edge to it all round – It’s a local derby with a bit of that in there as well.

“We had a team of internationals – And I banged some goals in for them.”

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